Date Presented:18-20 Sept.
The transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age (LH IIIB-C) in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, and Near East was marked by the destruction of empires and the migratory movement of populations. This time of upheaval was also marked by a change in the iconography of warriors and warfare, particularly in Egypt and in the Aegean world, including the first representations of true naval combat. Warriors in feathered headdresses, never before seen in Helladic or Egyptian art, are shown on Aegean pottery and in Egyptian relief taking part in battles on both land and sea, and the Helladic oared galley (Wedde’s Type V) makes its first appearance at this time as an instrument of naval warfare. This paper investigates these earliest representations of naval combat, with a special emphasis on the appearance and employment of new maritime technology and its effect on naval warfare. Also considered are what changes in fighting, if any, had to be made in order to adapt to this early form of ship-based combat.