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23 Although unlikely, it is possible that such a technique was used, but, even so, it still fails to address the omission of the chisel and the two later stages of boring necessary for this type of design. In comparison to pegged mortise-and-tenon joinery, laced construction conforms more closely to the evidence. To build a simple laced boat, one requires an axe and an adze to shape the planks, then a drill to bore the dowel holes in the edges of the planks. A drill with a smaller-diameter bit is used for the pegs that secure the cords.

The hull planking of this ship is of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), while tenons and Figure 4. Mortise-and-tenon joinery (after Casson, 1991, figure 3) tenon pegs are made from Turkey oak (Quercus cerrus). 4 These pegged joints act as internal frames, and their size and proximity add considerable sti¬ness and integrity to hull planking. Shipwrights carved tenons from a hardwood to reduce the distortion, cutting, or breaking of joints because seams try to shift under the strain of heavy cargoes or turbulent seas.

28 If this were attempted with a laced vessel, the force 30 chapter 4 Figure 7. Cross section of the royal barge of Cheops (Khufu) (after Lipke, 1984, p. 21) necessary to drive in the caulking material would stretch or break the cords holding the planks together. 29 However, carpenters used various techniques to build these ships. 32 In regard to Homer’s failure to mention the laying and tying of wadding, he may have omitted both simply because neither was required. We have several accounts of laced vessels that use neither wadding nor battens.

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