As is known, there is a fresco depicting a ship of the Minoan era. True, this time is “long” before the Trojan War, but technology then developed slowly. The example of Tour Heyerdahl was also contagious here, so here, four years before the Olympic Games in Athens, the Maritime Museum of Crete suggested creating a copy of the Minoan ship and carrying the torch with the Olympic flame on it. He also organized the financing and, in fact, the construction of the ship. The Greek Ministry of Culture also supported the initiative, the scientific part of the project was decided to be developed by specialists of the local research institute NAUDOMO, which means “Institute of Ancient Shipbuilding Research and Technology”, and work began. A team of enthusiasts headed by Vice-Admiral Apostolos Curtis, who analyzed all the available information about the courts of the XV century BC, also gathered there. er It includes not only specialists in the field of naval stories, but also literature, geography, computer technology, modellers and experienced reenactors.
They decided to call the vessel “Minoa” and build it on Crete at the old Venetian shipyard. It is believed that the death of the Minoan civilization was the result of a catastrophic volcanic eruption near the modern island of Santorini: all of Crete was covered with ashes, a giant wave formed after the explosion of the volcano, reached the shores of neighboring Crete and washed away both the city and the village, and it also destroyed the legendary Minoan fleet . Rescued Minoans could not recover from the consequences of this cataclysm. Well, and then, at the beginning of Crete, and then on other islands, scientists found traces of a unique Minoan civilization. As for the island of Santorini, here archaeologists have found many beautiful colored wall paintings, which also included “sea scenes”.
These frescoes were processed on a computer, with the help of which computer models of ships of the Minoan era were created. As a building material available to the Minoans, they chose cypress, which has the hardest and most resinous wood. All the technological processes and stages of the construction of this Minoan ship were tried to be preliminarily studied on its computer 22D model. At the same time, according to calculations, the ship's hull had to be shaped like a drop so that it experienced the least resistance to wind and waves. The length of the unirema, which is how the Greeks called such ships, which had only one row of oars, without a deck, with straight sails and a crew of 17 rowers, was supposed to be 4 m, and its width was only XNUMX m.
To begin with, a group of experienced modelers from the Maritime Museum of Crete made a smaller copy of the future ship on a scale of 1:5, also from cypress trees, only smaller. And then the team, armed with double-edged axes, saws, hand drills and other tools - copies of archaeological finds, began to manufacture the vessel.
Reconstruction of the Achaean Ship (Type VI), performed by Peter Connolly.
Its keel was made of a cypress trunk 22 m long, with a stem and stern bent upwards. The hull itself was "sewn" from boards laid on the sides of the keel and tied with ropes. Only after that, frames were placed inside the skin, cut from solid cypress trees, bent with the help of gates and ropes in the same way as the keel. The case was waterproofed by coating with a mixture of resin and fat. In addition, the skin was also covered with several layers of well-tarred fabric, and a year later the work on the ship was completed.
The model of a bronze age trading ship (around 1150 BC), made on the basis of a “ship from Bodrum” raised from the bottom of the sea.
On December 1, 2003, he left the dock, was given a name, consecrated and raised the national Greek flag and pennants. It turned out that such a design of the vessel allowed it to “breathe” on the waves, and the bent up and beveled stem allowed it to comfortably approach the gentle banks, where it could be easily pulled out of the water. The anchor was made of stone with three holes for tying a rope and two horns of stakes. Narrow transverse benches for rowers and an oak mast with a yard for a sail made of thick woolen fabric were placed in the very center. The Minoa was supposed to sail in the same way as the Minoan ships sailed: from one island to another, without leaving a long distance from the coast, as did the ancient navigators. It was necessary to spend the night or wait out the bad weather in the ports along the route. The ship's crew consisted of 24 strong young people, divided equally to row in turns. The speed at rowing was 2,4 knots, and at oars and with a raised sail - 3,2 knots.
The team was first trained to row, after which 29 on May 2004, this replica set sail, and on June 24 arrived in the port of Piraeus, where other replicas of ancient Greek ships also gathered and where they all took part in the Olympic cultural program.
"Minoa" in the museum in Chania.
Well, after the Olympics, he was exhibited in the same Venetian dock of the city of Chania, in the Museum of the Minoan ship, and a branch of the Maritime Museum of Crete, where the Minoa is still today.
Then a replica of the later and larger Argo was built, which, in general, also confirmed the expectations of its creators. That is, this ship also had a good seaworthiness and went well both at the oars and under the sail. Interestingly, according to legend, the crew of the Argo coincided with the number of people who could fit and work on this ship. So, reading Homer, and knowing this indicator, you can try to at least roughly calculate the number of Greeks who sailed to Troas.
Well, they obviously brought the chariots with them, like horses, then collected them and ... gave them to their leaders, who rode on them onto the battlefield, laden with bronze armor. So they saved forces, and besides, they had a supply of spears for throwing and arrows for bows. Fighting chariots, similar to those that were played between the Hittites and the Egyptians had no place here. There were very few Greeks, Achaeans and chariots, and horses, to act in isolation from the main forces of his troops.
Warriors on a chariot with darts in their hands. The image on the vessel of Tiryns.
As for their device, outwardly, they are not much different from the Egyptian. Apparently, this is such a “trend” at that time. Two wheels with birch rims (why there is no birch, but that is exactly birch), a light fence at belt level, a drawbar for two horses and a harness that allowed them to harness them into this chariot - that's all.
Mycenaean chariot. Modern reconstruction. (From the book: Fields N. Bronze age war chariot. Oxford: Osprey (New Vanguard series No. XXUMX). 119.)
True, not a single Mycenaean chariot has reached us (unlike the Egyptian ones), but there are plenty of drawings, so that it most likely is.
Charioteer and warrior wearing boar’s canine helmets, reconstruction of a 13th-century fresco from Pylos. BC.