How Old Is Sea Transport?

About seventy per cent of earth surface is covered by ocean. Since man evolved they realized that sea was vast and if they could cross it they may reach some new countries. In the very old times the thought was that the world was flat. This is exactly why if someone tries to cross the sea they will reach the end of the earth and fall.

I know the idea seems ridiculous now. However, boats were always used in rivers and inland waters even in the olden times. Most of the boats that time were powered by man. Pythagoras in the 6th century was the first who said that the earth was round. After this theory people started to think about exploring the sea. We will now discuss how old is sea transport?

History of Sailing

History of Sailing

Ships in Mythology

Well the concept of sea transport is as old as we can go back into the pages of history. There cannot be any exact date. Still we will try to explain how the sea transport started. If we take up bible the oldest ship will be what Noah built after he was instructed to do so by God himself. There is a mention of such a boat even in Indian mythology. However, these are stories and there is no proof to support them.

The Historical Perspective

As per the historians the first ship was built in 3500 B.C. It was built by the Egyptian civilization. They built these to transport commercial items in Nile. Nile is not a sea. It is the largest river in the world. This is exactly why we cannot claim this to be a sea transport. Nevertheless, these ships were huge and very similar in size and design to the modern ships.

Egyptian Ships

The Egyptians used oars and they also used large sails to move the ships. The ships slowly vanished with the Egyptian civilization. You can now find few of them in the museums. The next to build the ships were the Greeks. It was in the 1200 B.C. They used these huge cargo ships in the Mediterranean region.

The ships were built so well that recently when one was found under water it was in a great condition. These ships were built with two masts and were about 100-150 feet long. They were so strong that they could carry 100-300 tons of weight. The ships were very well built and had used the best of technology at that time.

Roman Ships

In the 100 B.C Rome large merchant ships were built. These ships were about 180 feet to 200 feet long. These ships were as wide as forty five feet. They had the capacity to carry about one thousand people and more. Apart from the thousand people they could also carry one thousand tons of cargo. These were the first ships that could carry cargo and passengers. These ships were also propelled by human force. This crew was apart from the passengers that the ship could carry.

As time moved on the Vikings came up with even larger ships. These were about eighty feet long and seventeen feet wide. These ships were very large and were constructed in Rome itself. The ships again could carry about 1000 tons of cargo. Slowly the royals also started to use ships in order to visit other countries. These ships were about seventy meter long. They had very lavish design. Some of them can be seen in the museums today.

Chinese Ships

During the same time even China was making large ships. These too had a good capacity to carry cargo up to one thousand tons. Mostly ships were propelled by oars and sails. It was only in the 15th century that the concept of war ships started. These ships were loaded with guns and weapons and were used exclusively for wars.

Steam Ships

In the nineteenth century the steam engines were used to propel the ships. The Greeks and the Romans were the first to use these engines. They improved the speed of the ships to a great extent.

Diesel Ships

Today majority of the ships use diesel engines. The first diesel engine was used in 1893. It was invented by a German scientist.

We hope that this article on how old is sea transport will definitely help you to understand how ships were originally used for sailing and how they have evolved over the years to the current form. The design and size have not changed much. Even the purpose of sailing has not changed much either. The only point that has changed quite a lot is the engines and propellers.

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