Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

The Craft of Shipbuilding During the Turkish Occupation

The evidence of the Greek commercial shipping and shipbuilding during the Turkish occupation are limited, while any references to shipbuilding until the middle of the eighteenth century are brief and sporadic. The technique applied in the Greek shipyards could be characterized as rather primitive, according to description in travelers accounts, although certain existing information can support the argument that Greek shipbuilders with expert knowledge and technical skills existed in that period. There fore, it is very important that Greek shipbuilders –whose names are occasionally mentioned- and craftsmen were employed in the state shipyards of both the Ottomans and the Venetians from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, according to literary sources. From the eighteenth century on the information about shipping and shipbuilding in the islands and the coastal areas of Greece is increasing, as a result of the Greek trading activity that is rapidly developing in these years. In the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth century the islands Hydra, Spetses and Psara became the driving force of shipping. The techniques applied in the major Greek shipyards was by then modernized and included the thorough designing of the vessel, the use of imported raw materials when necessary, and the adoption of more secure launching and refloating methods. Furthermore, the effective division of labor among specialized craftsmen resulted to the increase of production and to the improvement of the quality of vessels. As regards the technical applications, the molding method, the variations of which have survived until today, probably represents the most interesting heritage of the Greek shipbuilding craft, at least since the time of Turkish occupation. Similar methods, usually known by the English term “whole-moulding” have been recorded in quite many historical and ethnological research projects dealing with the traditional shipbuilding of other countries and are counted even today among the important “secrets” of the trade of the wooden ship builder.