Minoan Shipyard From Crete

Not sure if I mentioned this one before as my mailbox is suddenly messed up in a big way … from back in the beginning of March from Greek Reporter:

The first Minoan shipyard where big ships were constructed will be presented in a conference on Ancient Greek Technology, which will be held in Heraklion, Crete on March 21. Researcher Dr. Minas Tsikritsis and geologist Stelios Manolioudis will be the speakers.

The major shipyard was found near the Minoan palace at the location Niros Hani, Heraklion. This discovery comes to illuminate all the past information on Minoan sailing. “For the development of the Minoan shipping until now we have relied on pictorial representation showing seagoing ships with 50 oars corresponding theoretically to vessels 40 to 50 meters. This view is supported by the finding on the coast of St. Theodore near the Minoan palace of Niros Hani (Hani Kokkini), a large yard,” Tsikritsis noted.

According to the research, in the area there are carvings and bases of Minoan buildings both on land and in the sea. In the north part of the beach two large rectangular carvings were found, which are now submerged in the sea. Based on these findings, Tsikritsis maintains that “It is probably a Minoan ship construction area of about 45 meters and less than 15-25 meters.”

Archaeologist S. Marinatos was the first to speak about the Minoan shipyard.

A Roman Brick … in Fort Vancouver?

… and not just any brick … one with little footprints on it.  From KGW:

A brick unearthed decades ago at Fort Vancouver is back in the spotlight.

The brick was first discovered buried in the ground on the site around 1950, but a recent analysis of its make-up now shows the brick dates back some 2,000 years, all the way back to the Roman Empire.

One of the most interesting aspects of the brick is what was likely not supposed to be on it.

If you look closely at one of its corners you’ll see two tiny paw prints. Archaeologists suspect it’s the work of an ancient Roman kitty cat.

“We kind of jokingly call it the ‘Celtic Kitty,’ jumped up on this wet brick probably close to 2,000 years ago and memorialized itself for all eternity,” said Bob Cromwell, an archaeologist at Fort Vancouver.

The big question: How in the world did this ancient brick end up in Vancouver?

Cromwell says it likely came over on an English ship where it was used as ballast, basically just weight to help balance the ship.

“Somebody in England basically recycled, or took apart, a Roman ruin or maybe a cobblestone road and it probably ended up as a ballast load in a Hudson’s Bay Company ship,” said Cromwell.

The ancient brick is on display inside the Fort Vancouver National historic site.

Visitors can see the brick, but because it’s being stored in a special climate-controlled room, they must make a viewing appointment.

… and I can’t resist including one of the two photos from the original article:


The original article also has a video news report. Folks interested in ancient footprint impressions might like to check out our post from a couple years ago: Footprints in the … Well, Lots of Stuff … although a couple of the photos seem to have expired.