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The sail and the ship

The sail and the ship
It is believed that the prototype of the sails appeared in ancient times, when people first started to build boats and ventured out into the sea. At the beginning served as a sail stretched animal skin. Standing in the boat the man had both hands to hold and orient it with respect to the wind. When people come up to strengthen the sail with the help of the mast and the yard, it is not known, but at the earliest extant images of the ships of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, one can see the wooden masts and spars, as well Stays (ropes that hold from falling back mast), halyards (ropes for lifting and lowering the sails) and other rigging. Hence, the emergence of a sailing vessel should be attributed to prehistoric times.
Plenty of evidence suggests that the first big sailing ships were in Egypt, and the Nile was first abounding river, which began to develop river navigation. Every year from July to November mighty river overflowed its banks, flooding their waters all over the country. The villages and towns have been cut off from one another like islands. Therefore, the Court were to the Egyptians necessity. The economic life of the country and in the communication between people, they play a much greater role than the wheeled carts. One of the early versions of the Egyptian ships, appeared around 5000 BC, was the bark. She is known to modern scholars on several models, set in ancient temples. As Egypt is very poor forest for the construction of the first ships of papyrus was widely used features of this material identified the structure and form of ancient Egyptian ships. It was a crescent-related bundles of papyrus boat with curved upward bow and stern. To bring the ship's hull strength is contracted cables. Later, when to establish a regular trade with the Phoenicians in Egypt began to act in a large number of Lebanese cedar, the tree has become widely used in shipbuilding. The idea of ​​what types of ships were built then give wall reliefs near the Saqqara necropolis, belonging to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC In these compositions, realistically displayed some stage of construction, ship plank. The ship's hull, keel did not have any (in ancient times it was a bar, which lies at the base of the bottom of the vessel) or frames (transverse beams curves, providing the strength of sides and bottom), recruited from simple plates and caulk papyrus. It strengthens the body through the ropes, tight ship around the perimeter of the upper skin belt. Such ships had barely seaworthy. However, navigation on the river are quite suited. Egyptians used a square sail allowed them to sail downwind only. Rigging was attached to the two-legged mast, both feet which are installed perpendicular to the middle line of the ship. At the top they are tightly linked. Steps (socket) Mast served as beams of the device in the ship's hull. In the working position the mast kept Stays - thick cables that went from the stern and nose, and in the direction of the sides of its support legs. Square sail fastened to two aloft. When the mast crosswind hurriedly cleaned. Later, around 2600 BC, to replace the two-legged mast had to use until now one-legged. Facilitated legged mast sailing ship for the first time gave an opportunity to maneuver. However, the square sail was unreliable tool, which can be used only with a fair wind. muscular strength remained rowers main engine of the ship. Apparently, the Egyptians belongs to an important improvement of the oars - oarlocks invention. They have not been in the ancient kingdom, but then began to mount paddle using rope loops. It is immediately possible to increase the force of the stroke and the speed of the vessel. It is known that the choicest rowers on the ships of the Pharaohs did 26 strokes per minute, which made it possible to reach speeds of 12 km / h. Manage these ships using the two steering oars located in the stern. Later, they were fastened to a beam on the deck, rotating which could choose the right direction (this principle conning by turning the rudder remains unchanged to this day). The ancient Egyptians were not good sailors. On their ships, they did not dare go out into the open sea. However, along the coast of merchant ships made long journeys. So, in the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, there is an inscription that tells of the voyage, the Egyptians committed around 1490 BC in the mysterious land of Punt incense, is in the area of ​​modern Somalia.

The next step in the development of shipbuilding has been made by the Phoenicians. Unlike the Egyptians, the Phoenicians were in excess of its ships a beautiful building material. Their country ran a narrow strip along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Extensive pine forests grow here almost at the beach. Already in ancient times the Phoenicians learned to make from their trunks high-odnodrevki dugout and boldly went to them in the sea. At the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, when began to develop maritime trade, the Phoenicians began to build ships. A ship is significantly different from the boats, for its construction requires different design solutions. The most important discoveries on the way, determined the entire subsequent history of shipbuilding, belong to the Phoenicians. Maybe animal skeletons have put them on the idea to establish odnodrevkah stiffeners, which overlaid the boards. Since the first time ever been applied shipbuilding frames still have widespread use. Similarly, the Phoenicians built the first keel boat (keel originally served two trunks joined at an angle). Kiel immediately confers resistance body and has allowed to establish the longitudinal and transverse links. These were attached planking. All these innovations were the decisive basis for the rapid development of shipbuilding and determined the appearance of all subsequent ships.

From the middle of the 2nd millennium BC It began a rapid flourishing Phoenician towns owe their prosperity to Mediterranean trade. Bellied Phoenician ships have become a bridge between the two countries. In all directions they crossed the sea and came back laden with treasure. The enormous wealth that the Phoenicians were removed from their businesses, making them all the more determined and brave. In distant lands, they founded their colonies and trading posts, eventually also turns into a flourishing city. Their trade routes stretched from India to Africa and Britain. For six centuries BC several Phoenician ships sailed from the Red Sea, skirted Africa and returned to the Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar.

In addition to commercial vessels, the Phoenicians built many warships, equipped with powerful rams. They first started thinking about how to increase the speed of the vessel. At that time, when the sail has played only a supporting role in the battle, and during the chase had to rely primarily on the oars. Thus, the speed of the ship directly dependent on the number of rowers. First, the length of the ship was chosen based on the desired number of paddles. However, infinitely increase it was impossible. The solution was found in the construction of ships with several rows of oars. First, they built the ships in which the paddles were placed one above the other in two tiers. The earliest image of a two-tier ship found in the palace of the Assyrian king Sannaheriba. Bottom row rowers it is hidden under the deck, and the top was placed directly on it. Later, there were three-tiered ships - trireme. According to Clement of Alexandria, that the Phoenicians built the first trireme, which, as history has shown, proved to be the best option propeller vessel. These were the ships is very considerable size, had three rows of oars, one above the other in a staggered manner. Paddles were of various lengths depending on in which row were rowers. The strongest sat on the upper deck, as they had to manage the longest oars. The trireme was very easy to move, maneuverable and had good speed. Following the example of the Phoenicians began to build all the peoples of the Mediterranean sea.

Of course, not once attempts were made to increase the number of propulsion stages. In the Macedonian king Demetrius I of Macedon were ships with 6th and 7th rows of rowers. In the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philadelphus were two ships with 30 rows of oars and another Egyptian king Ptolemy had phylopatry ship with 40 oars and rows. The size of it is not inferior to a large modern liner, I had 4000 rowers, 3000 crew members and 400 workers. But these ships were bulky and unwieldy. Later, the Romans returned to the well-established trireme, which remained the main type of marine vessel throughout antiquity.

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