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European ironwork

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On vacation in Sicily and toured Palermo yesterday. The ironwork in the old part of town is truly formidable. The traditional joinery was especially well done, and there is a lot of it.






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City of Cefalu at the Norman Cathedral (12th century) Notice the iron fence and gate (original installation!)


Here are the close-ups of the joinery.






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Now for you bronze-age guys, I also visited a museum at Marsala where they uncovered a Punic Wars era boat that had been covered by sand for a couple thousand years. No weapons unfortunately, but there were a bunch of lead and bronze nails and a couple of lead anchors. Evidently, the wooden hull was covered with lead sheet and riveted on. I have a couple of better pics of the boat on my camera, and can update when I get home.









Edited by Joshua States
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  • 1 month later...

Gorgeous stuff.  Reminds me of my trip to northern Italy 20 years ago.  I'd like to know how much maintenance it takes to keep the outdoor ironwork looking good with all that salt air around.  

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Wow, wonderful stuff all around! Like you, I'm very impresses by that heavy duty railing.

Most interesting to me (because I love the period), is the boat! Sheeting a boat in lead?! Never heard of that! 

1. How did they not sink?

2. Why didn't Carthaginian Environmental Protection Agency express concerns over possible heavy metal pollution in the Mediterranean? ;)

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Ryan, Thanks for bumping this. I forgot to post additional pics of that boat, and seeing how it interests you, Here they are.

This one gives you an idea of what the hull and keel shapes were like.

Punic boat 1.jpg


This was a double-hull construction.


Punic boat 2.jpg


The urns were for cargo mostly and were tapered at the bottom so they could stand upright in holes bored through storage planks.


Punic urns.jpg


A close up of the bronze and lead nails used to hold the lead and wood together.


Bronze nails 2.jpg


Here is another major gate. This one is outside a church/cathedral in Catania.

I don't know if you can make this bigger to see the details, but these guys were serious.


Catania Gate.jpg

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