Dhow

Ship

Ancient

Claim to Fame:

The dhow was a vessel used primarily for fishing and trade. It had triangular sails and a unique hull design.

Date: 2000 BCE - 1200 CE

“Arab Bhum or Dhow, 9th Century CE,” 1991-1993, by William F. Wiseman

Dhow

“Arab Bhum or Dhow, 9th Century CE,” 1991-1993, by William F. Wiseman, The Mariners' Museum.

“Dhow” was the name that westerners gave to the ships they saw in the Indian Ocean. The dhow is a very old type of ship; they have been in use since the Greeks were in power. No one knows who originally designed the dhow. Arab merchants and Indian traders used these ships to navigate the coasts of Africa and the Middle East. Their hulls were stitched together and their sails were a triangular (lateen) shape. Early versions of the vessel typically were pointed at both ends, but later versions had a square stern. The dhow was not designed for combat or deep-sea sailing. Its primary uses were fishing and trade, remaining close to shore.