Byzantine Ship Design and Its Legacy in the West Transmission and Application of Shipbuilding Knowledge in Venice and Beyond: Nautical Archaeology, Shipbuilding Texts, and Mediterranean Contexts


ACLS Fellowship Program


Institute of Nautical Archaeology


Archaeological evidence from Byzantine shipwrecks suggest the use of whole-moulding methods, a ship design process devised by Byzantine shipwrights based on Euclidean geometry to produce superior vessel. Fourteenth-century Venetian shipbuilding texts imply that, by this period, Byzantine whole- moulding methods were adopted by the maritime states of the Western Mediterranean, eventually launching Europe into the Age of Exploration. This project provides an extensive account of the trans-regional and trans-cultural networks of exchange in shipbuilding technology, creating new methodological and theoretical perspectives, and ultimately elevating the field of ship design to the debate between "ars" and "scientia" within the history of technology.