Nimatallah/Art Resource, NY

One of the most famous ancient renderings of Aegean ships is the frieze that once decorated a wall of the West House, at the Theran settlement of Akrotiri—a detail of which is shown. The entire painting, dating around the 17th century B.C. and now located in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum, is a detailed narrative sequence, depicting large sailing ships on a journey from one harbor to another.