Naval power and textile technology: sail production in ancient Greece

Dimova, B., Gleba, M. and Harris, S. (2021) Naval power and textile technology: sail production in ancient Greece. World Archaeology, 53(5), pp. 762-778. (doi: 10.1080/00438243.2021.2015428)

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Sails and textile technology played a key role in enabling mobility and thus shaping historical phenomena such as migration, trade, the acquisition and maintenance of imperial power in the ancient Mediterranean. Yet sails are nearly absent from analyses of ancient fleets, even in extensively studied cases like that of Classical Athens. This paper examines the demand and production of sailcloth, including labour and material requirements, and logistics. A consideration of the Athenian navy demonstrates that making sails involved significant amounts of labour and resources. Managing supplies and reserves of sailcloth constituted a significant challenge, which could be addressed through more intensive exploitation of textile workers, trade, and taxation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harris, Dr Susanna
Authors: Dimova, B., Gleba, M., and Harris, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:World Archaeology
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1470-1375
Published Online:02 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in World Archaeology 53(5): 762-778
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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