Page 1 of 1

Tar trade

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:04 pm
by kbs2244
From Thurs news page.
Brit boat with Mideast tar.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases ... 112316.php

Re: Tar trade

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 am
by Minimalist
You know what's amusing about this, kb? A year or two ago I saw one of those Nat Geo type specials where some guy was trying to replicate Gilgamesh's version of the ark in the form of the common round boats they used on the Tigris. Because of the constant warfare in the region he couldn't do the building in Iraq itself so he moved to some place in Africa ( Ethiopia, I think ) where they had all the raw materials. What he learned though was that Ethiopian bitumen was no where near as good for caulking boats as Iraqi bitumen and the damned boat spent most of its time sinking! Meanwhile they showed clips of modern Iraqi round boats floating merrily along without a care in the world.

Just goes to show that no matter how many variants there are of the story the original must have arisen in a place where wooden boats caulked with bitumen actually operated.

Or, in other words, All bitumens are not created equal.

Re: Tar trade

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:59 am
by kbs2244
And that a good product will find it's market.

Re: Tar trade

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:19 pm
by Cognito
wooden boats caulked with bitumen actually operated.

Tin was being mined in Cornwall prior to 2000bce and exported to the Mediterranean by boats and overland into empires as far as the Middle East. Increasing the longevity of a boat's lifecycle with bitumen would have provided a great ROI for any merchant.

Re: Tar trade

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:42 pm
by Minimalist
Right, but if it is the wrong type of tar your boat can come apart in the middle of the ocean.

That could mess up your whole day

Re: Tar trade

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:08 pm
by Cognito
Absolutely Min; however, bitumen was likely exported to Britain during that timeframe by Phoenicians. I can imagine the trade negotiations with the locals:

"Your boats sink too soon and aren't seaworthy. Try some of this tar, it works like a charm and will only cost you two cows and your daughter." :D

Re: Tar trade

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:21 pm
by Minimalist
Settle for the two cows.