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Towards a Classification of Water Transport

Sean McGrail
World Archaeology
Vol. 16, No. 3, Water Craft and Water Transport (Feb., 1985), pp. 289-303
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124536
Page Count: 15
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Towards a Classification of Water Transport
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Abstract

Examination of earlier schemes for classifying water transport suggests that a new approach is required. A classification scheme - principally for boats, rather than rafts or floats - is presented which is based on two key structural attributes: the builder's fundamental concept of the boat; and the combination of techniques used to build her. A theoretical scheme of 14 classes is described and examples are given of classes known to exist or to have existed. Criticism of this scheme and resolution of ambiguities in the documentation of both ancient and modern boats is recommended before attempts are made to identify culturally-meaningful patterns.

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