Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant

by Shelley Wachsman

I seized upon this book as the answer to my questions about seagoing trade by the Minoans. This book is certainly nothing if not thorough; it presents every fragment of evidence we have about the use of ships in the Eastern Mediterranean during the period from about 2000 BCE to about 1100 BCE. This was the Bronze Age in these areas, and the beginnings of serious shipping. Before then, shipping involved little boats, rafts, and other flimsy craft that were used only for moving along the coast, close to land. Blue-water seafaring just hadn’t gotten going.

My purpose in reading this book was to sort out some problems with the amount of trade in the Aegean prior to the coming of the Greeks. The book did not directly address this, but it did provide some crucial details that ‘cracked the case’ for me.