Sunday, 21 December 2014

Bosporan Ram ?


A metal mounting found near the Bosporan city of Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula has been declared a 'Mithridatic Ram'. No detailed photos yet but text states it has inscription of Mithridates VI.


For my money the fitting looks too light to be a true ram. It seems more like a reinforcement to the cutwater found on many ships from the classical period. One can see where it could have been mounted on the keel.
Small Roman galley
It was a feature of galleys and could be from a small galley. It was found near the remains of a ships 15m long. Text at the website of Popular Archaeology magazine suggests a bireme but such a vessel should be in the order of 25 metres long.
It may not be too much of an exagerration to call it a ram but the size of the fitting and the vessel it is supposed to have been mounted on do not really amount to a warship.

This find is very exciting because it demonstrates how much is waiting to be found under the sea and highlights the Black Sea, with its anoxic depths as a potential place where we may one day be able to gaze upon a preserved sunken trieres.
Lecture about Greek settlement in Taman