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Heavy timbers were shaped and attached to the hull, and then the bronze ram was created to fit around the timbers for added strength.
The evidence for this lies in the remnants of timbers found inside the Athlit ram when it was discovered.
It is 226 centimetres (89 in) long with a maximum width of 76 centimetres (30 in) and a maximum height of 96 centimetres (38 in).
The bronze that makes up the shell is a high-quality alloy containing 9.78% tin with traces of lead and other elements.
A ram was a weapon carried by varied types of ships, dating back to antiquity.
The weapon comprised an underwater prolongation of the bow of the ship to form an armoured beak, usually between six and 12 feet (2–4 m) in length.
The shell was cast as a single piece to perfectly fit the timbers it protects.
The casting of an object as large as the Athlit ram was a complicated operation at the time, and would have been a considerable expense in the construction of a war galley.
With the development of steam propulsion, the speed, power and maneuverability it allowed again enabled the use of the ship's hull, which could be clad in iron, as an offensive weapon.It was believed that an armoured warship could not be seriously damaged by the naval artillery in existence at the time, even at close range.To achieve a decisive result in a naval engagement, therefore, alternative methods of action were believed to be necessary.The surface of the ram was decorated with several symbols.It is attached with mortise and tenon joints and strengthened with 15-millimetre (0.6 in) oak pegs.
As early as 1840, the French admiral Nicolas Hippolyte Labrousse proposed building a ram steamship, and by 1860, Dupuy de Lôme had designed an ironclad with a ram.