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Boat Described by Herodotus Discovered in Nile River

Monday, March 18, 2019

Herodotus sculptureOXFORD, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Guardian, a unique shipwreck has been discovered near the sunken port city of Thonis-Heracleion, which is located at the mouth of the Nile River. The vessel was constructed in a manner described by the fifth-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus, who visited Egypt and observed the construction of an unusual trading vessel. Damian Robinson of Oxford University said the hull is the first such ship to be found. Known as a “baris,” the ship had a crescent-shaped hull made from thick planks connected with tenon-ribs fastened with pegs, rather than mortice-and-tenon joints. The archaeological evidence has helped scholars to understand the ancient text. “Herodotus describes the boats as having long internal ribs,” Robinson said. “Nobody really knew what that meant…. That structure’s never been seen archaeologically before. Then we discovered this form of construction on this particular boat and it absolutely is what Herodotus has been saying.” For more on Herodotus, go to “Did the 'Father of History' Get It Wrong?

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