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In order to protect this vital naval defense system, the ancient Athenians built a massive facility at Piraeus that would rank with the Acropolis and the Parthenon among the most formidable structures in the ancient world.Triremes would prove to be the key to building Greece’s naval power, both before and after the Battle of Salamis.The vessels were exceedingly vulnerable to damage, not just when at sea or in battle, but also while moored in the harbor.Excessive exposure to the punishing summer sun would dry out and shrink the timbers of the ships’ hulls, creating leaks, while exposure to rain would cause swelling and fungal decay in the wood.
Ship-sheds, like those found by Lovén and his colleagues, were used to protect the vessels from these risks, as well as from damage by the wood-eating mollusks known as shipworms, or woodworms. C., the complex of naval bases built at Piraeus could house more than 350 triremes.
The ship-sheds, long parallel buildings measuring some 6 ½ meters wide and up to 80 meters long, had ramps along each side sloping up from the water.