Toggles and Sails in the Ancient World: Rigging Elements Recovered from the Tantura B Shipwreck, Israel



Excavation of the 9th-century AD shipwreck B in Tantura Lagoon, Israel, yielded four toggles, numerous rope fragments, and three pierced wooden spatulate objects believed to be associated with the ship's rigging. In the first half of the article, the toggles are described and compared to a corpus of similar devices found on both land and shipwreck sites. The spatulate devices are tentatively identified as spill-toggles, pierced for attaching a trip-line. The second half of the article traces the textual and iconographical evidence for toggles and sail types––in particular, the lateen––in the ancient Mediterranean, and their possible association.

© 2008 The Author