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Quffa/coracle in Palestine?

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  • dastacey62
    The Mesopotamian Quffa (a coracle constructed from interwoven reeds/palm fronds and covered externally with hides and/or asphalt) was in use on the Euphrates
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2009
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      The Mesopotamian 'Quffa' (a coracle constructed from interwoven
      reeds/palm fronds and covered externally with hides and/or asphalt)
      was in use on the Euphrates from at least Assyrian times until recent
      decades. They were cheaply and quickly made in an environment where
      wood for planked boats was scarce. Does anyone know of any
      ethnographic/documentary/pictorial/folk-memory evidence for the use
      of similar vessels in Palestine? The obvious locality would be on
      Lake Tiberias, down the Jordan and on the Dead Sea. Both Diodorus
      (19:98-100)and Strabo (XVI.2.42)refer to reed boats being used for
      collecting asphalt off the Dead Sea but they would appear to be
      referring to reed rafts made of tying together bundles of reeds.
      However when Diodorus talks of a sea battle on the Dead Sea he
      mentions archers firing from reed boats. It would seem that coracles
      would be more easily manoeuvrable than rafts so could this be an
      indication of their existence?

      My infant school picture books always showed Moses floating around
      the bulrushes in a small coracle (Exodus 2.3). Isaiah 18.2 refers to
      reed boats in the Upper Nile. Could these have been coracles?
      (Quffat/Coracles and boats of reed bundles co-existed in Mesopotamia)
      David Stacey
      UK
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