A note on the history of handling in ports: from ancient to medieval cranes

A note on the history of handling in ports: from ancient to medieval cranes

By Zrnic N., Hoffmann K., Bosnjak S.

Paper given at the 12th IFToMM World Congress, Besançon, France (2007)

Abstract: We are considering the history of cranes in ports from speculative megalithic cranes, through ancient cranes up to the medieval cranes built before the industrial revolution started in the late 18th century. In basic books and articles on the history of cranes the prevalent construction cranes are the focus, but this paper concentrates exclusively on history of port and quay cranes including technical milestones.

Introduction: The problem “how to lift a load” is as old as humankind. Lifting devices have served mankind for at least 5000 years. The first written information on the use of hoisting mechanisms in ancient Greece appeared around 530 BC, mainly concerning the construction of the first temple of Artemis in Ephesus, but it is naive for one to support that the hoisting machines and in general the mechanisms for traction appeared at that time, since the huge constructions of Tiryns, Mycenae, the megalithic monuments of Mane and many other examples (like old Egypt), are much earlier.

Click here to read this article from the International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science

Sign up to get a Weekly Email from

* indicates required

medievalverse magazine
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons