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View of a modern reconstruction of a penteconter. Typically these ships had 50 oarsmen although the number varied. This reconstruction has 20 oarsmen—10 on each side.
Note the narrowness of the vessel. Along the side, note the 10 holes though which the oars would have protruded. And above them, the opening that provided ventilation and light to the oarsmen. On the front of the ship (lower left) note the long "ram"—slightly below the surface of the water.
A penteconter was power by the oarsmen and a sail (note the mast on this ship). This type of ship typically lacked a full deck. Eventually the penteconter evolved into the bireme and the more famous trireme—the primary warship of classical antiquity.
This modern reconstruction is moored in a small Aegean harbor west of Ephesus.