History of Ships and Boats ke
Get ready for a voyage from 6300 B.C. to the 18th century. Oarsmen ready? Let's go!
First we'll go back to 6300 B.C. We never really knew
how far boats and ships went back until some archaeologists found something. What they found was a dugout boat from, well, 6300 B.C. It was an important discovery.
In 4000 B.C. in Egypt, they made long narrow boats powered by many oarsmen. In the next 1,000 years, Egyptians started using cotton-made sails to help their boats go faster and with less work. Then they made ships large enough to cross the oceans. These ships had sails and oarsmen, and they used them for travel and trade.
In 1200 B.C. the Phoenicians and Greeks were the most seafaring people along the Mediterranean. They made very big cargo ships and also improved the ship rig a lot. By 500 B.C., they built ships with two big masts. One was a middle mast with a square sail, and the other sail was triangular, and it supported the main sail. These ships were about 100 feet long and could carry 100-200 tons (90-180 metric tons).
We're coming up to the 100 B.C.'s. Roman ships became the rulers of the Mediterranean. The Romans built the largest merchant ships of their time; they were 180 feet long and 45 feet wide. They could hold 1,000 people and carry 1,000 tons. Roman ships carried people because no other boat was designed to just carry passengers. The only problem with them carrying people was that the passengers had little shelter in the night. That was because the lower level was usually packed with merchants or trade.
Now we are going to the late 1000's. That's when the Vikings took their place in the oceans. Vikings rode on their famous long ships. They were about 80 feet long and 17 feet wide. Most of these ships had 20 oars on each side, some even had 30! They were mainly used for raiding other countries, but they were also for trading and colonizing. They usually had big weaponry in the bottom.
Here come the 1200's. This is when Vikings lost control of the oceans and cogs came along. The cog was a ship that had one big square sail in the middle. They also had forecastles and stern castles. Castles are big platforms where cannons, people, shelter, or cargo would be. Later, the sails were lateens (triangular sails) instead of square sails.
Burns, Peggy and Peter Chrisp. Stepping Through History-Travel. New York: Thompson Publishing 1995.
Wilkinson, Philip and Michael Pollard. Ideas That Changed the World-Transportation. New York and Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers 1995.
"The Cog." Sailing the Seven Seas. 28 January 2005 <http://library.thinkquest.org/25723/main.html?tqskip1=1>.
Smith, Philip Chadwick Foster. "Ship." World Book Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. 4 Feb. 2005.
Copyrighted clip art images of ships from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1> (October-March, 2004-2005). Clip art only available to licensed users for non-commercial purposes.