Development of Seafaring Technology 1


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  • Canoes have been around for at least 8,000 years. They've been found all over the world where there's water and trees. They help you get more food and survive better. Rafts have similar uses and are also easy to make.
  • In Egypt, boats have been around since 6,000 B.C.E. They started out as simple rafts made of papyrus reeds, used to navigate the Nile. They were used for trade and transportation, and helped Egyptian society expand.
  • In around 3000 B.C.E. Mesopotamians developed sailboats which they used in trade and commerce. These sailboats were made of wood planks and had fixed cloth sails. Their sailboats helped them develop trading relationships with other countries and spread their culture and many innovations.
  • In around 1550 B.C.E. the Phoenicians began using galleys. They had both trading ships and war ships. Their ships were propelled by oarsmen, which meant they could use the ship even when the wind wasn't in their favor. Phoenician warships were generally considered superior; one time this was demonstrated was when Xerxes collected a fleet against Greece, he had his different contingents compete in a race that was won by the Phoenicians. (PIRC)
  • These galleys developed into ships the Greeks called biremes and triremes, the names coming from how many levels of oars they had on each side. As well as being used by the Phoenicians, they were also used extensively by the Greeks and especially by the Romans. They evolved from uniremes, which only had one level of oars on each side. Biremes were faster, better versions of uniremes, and triremes were lighter, more efficient biremes. Biremes began being used around 400–250 B.C.E. The Greeks used them extensively during the Trojan War. (Raunekk)
  • In 1000 C.E. the Vikings began using larger boats, generally made out of oak and pine. As their homeland was inhospitable farmland, they instead based their society around the sea, exploring and raiding. They had two types of ships: their "knorr or knarr", a merchant ship, and their longship, a boat of war. Their boats had oars and sails, and were very sturdy. They allowed the Vikings to expand all over the world. (Mariners' Museum)
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