Date Presented:14-17 Nov.
The appearance of the brailed rig and loose-footed sail at the end of the Late Bronze Age revolutionized seafaring in the eastern Mediterranean. In the first visual representation of a naval battle in the Egyptian records, the battle at Medinet Habu, both Egyptian and ‘Sea Peoples’ ships are portrayed as employing this new rig on warships which are nearly identical in structure and design. This fact suggests some level of previous contact between the invading mariners and those responsible for designing and constructing Egypt’s ships of war. This paper examines the evidence for the development of the brailed rig in the eastern Mediterranean, and explores the possibility that the Šrdn of the Sea, one of the ‘Sea Peoples’ who appeared in “battleships in the midst of the sea” off of the Egyptian coast a century earlier, may have played an integral role in the transference of that technology to the Egyptians.