Emblematic type of the monument of the ancient ages of the Mediterranean basin (from the fourteenth century, 10th century before our era), The Argo of the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece, ship and mythical journey reconstructed in the late 80s By a Greco-Turkish team.
The first galleys with a level of oars (monoremes for the Romans), the oldest, were generally undecked boats but with a small foredeck and aft, possibly a small hold. It was built "first hull", a technique more elaborate than that of the first ships Egyptian and appeared around the thirteenth century BCE. It consisted of placing on a basic structure with keel and pairs, a plating made of wooden plates (the vats), assembled and held in place by mortises sunk into vertical notches and secured by tenons driven into the mallet. To waterproof the whole, caulking was used, consisting of applying on the hull of fine linen cloth, coated with heated pitch, then bitumen.
Later, towards the tenth century BC. J.C., small copper plates will be used to complete this waterproofing, in particular due to the relatively rapid decomposition of the bitumen in the sea water.
The Argo of the legend was probably, according to the descriptions given by Ovide, a monoreme of 18 rowers: 9 rowers per side, with a helmsman, and an "officer." The rowers participated in all the maneuvers of the board, including the brewing of the sail. The oars rest on tops (wooden rings fixed in the flanks of the bulwarks). It also appears that this ship possessed a small spur, more a traditional feature than a weapon of war. The rostres used in an offensive role only took shape with more massive ships, Dières, Trières and Pentecontores. The reconstructed Argo is an example of what a "warship" could be, with a length of 15 meters, a width of 3.20, which gave it a ratio of 1/5, and made it a relatively Wide and versatile, halfway between a freighter and a real military unit. The monitors derived from it, the Cisocontore, had hardly more than two rowers per side (20 in all), the Tricontère 30. the latter were clearly longer and had a ratio of 1/6, more favorable to the speed. These apparently appeared during the thirteenth century BCE.