It is the only known ram of its kind in existence in
the world and considered to be one of the largest bronze
finds of antiquity. Found in 1980 in the waters of Atlit
(south of Haifa) this three-pronged ram has contributed
much to the knowledge of naval warfare. Many people are
familiar with the battering ram used on land, but are
not aware of the existence of a similar weapon in naval
Iconographic representations, (from the eighth
century BCE on) all show a ship bearing a ram. Naval
rams underwent various changes throughout the years.
Single pointed rams seem to have been used most often,
but had the disadvantage of breaking easily. These types
of rams, which only created a hole in the enemy ship,
caused limited damage. It was also dangerous, since the
attacking ship could find itself literally entangled in
the enemy ship, when its ram would be caught in the
enemy ship's hull and the attacking ship would find
itself unable to disengage itself from its prey.
Later naval rams took on the shape of an animal's
head. The three-pronged ram (such as the Ram of Atlit)
developed at the end of the sixth century BCE and had
the advantage of shattering an enemy ship's hull,
creating damage that could not be repaired at sea. The
Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Etruscans throughout the
Mediterranean used the three-pronged ram in naval
An impressive artifact, the Ram of Atlit (see photo),
is on display at the National Maritime Museum. Shaped
like a chariot, the ram was found devoid of its ship and
was probably made in Cyprus. It features mythological
symbols including eagles, a thunderbolt and more. The
existence of and use of three-pronged rams is known from
a variety of sources including, coins, pottery etc. But
the Ram of Atlit is the only actual known specimen of
this type. It weighs 465 kilograms (almost half a ton)
and is composed of 90.1% copper, 9.5% tin and trace
elements of iron and sulphur.
The National Maritime Museum covers 5,000 years of
maritime history while emphasizing the ongoing
relationship between Eretz Israel (and Jews) to the sea.
The museum features underwater archaeological finds,
ship models, a large collection of antique maps,
pottery, coins and more. The museum is located just
above the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum and
is also within walking distance of Elijah's Cave.
The museum is located at 198 Allenby Street, Haifa,
31447, 04/853-6622,TEL 04/853-9286 FAX
Visiting Hours: Sun., Mon., Wed. 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM,
Tues. and Thurs. 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Fri., 10:00 AM -1:00
PM and Sat. 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
Entry fees: Adults, 20 NIS/pp, Children, Students and
Senior Citizens, 15 NIS/pp.
Group rates, 15 NIS/pp,
Children, Students and Senior Citizens, 12 NIS/pp.
Guided tours in English for groups are available for 250
Note: An option is available to purchase a combined
ticket (valid for one month) to three museums, the
National Maritime Museum, the Haifa Museum and the
Israel National Museum of Science. Ticket prices are as
follows, Family, 80 NIS, Adults, 33 NIS/pp., Children,