Articles

Adventurers will use a boat made of REEDS to embark an 800 mile voyage to test the theory on how the Ancient Egyptians sail as far as the Black Sea

Advertisements
Advertisements

Adventurers will set sail in a boat made of reeds to discover whether the ancient Egyptians could sail as far as the Black Sea, as claimed in historical records.   

A team of intrepid adventurers will embark on an 800 mile journey from the Black Sea to Crete in August aboard a vessel built from materials available at the time.

They hop that the voyage aboard the ‘Abora IV’ will prove that the ancient Egyptians could have made similar trips in reed boats thousands of years ago.

The 46 feet-long (14 metre) boat will be crewed by a team of two dozen researchers and volunteers, from eight different countries.

Setting out from the Bulgarian port of Varna, on the Black Sea, the voyagers will forge their way through the Bosphorus strait, across the Aegean Sea and on to Crete.

Advertisements

Historical sources, including the writings of Greek scholar Herodotus, claim that the African civilisation had mastered this feat of nautical navigation.

‘Egyptians sailed through the Black Sea to get materials that they could not have from the east Mediterranean,’ the historian wrote.

The team aiming to prove the possibility of the claim is being led by experimental archaeologist Dominique Görlitz, 53. 

Dr Görlitz and his team drew inspiration for their design of the boat from ancient rock drawings found in upper Egypt and the Caucasus.

Advertisements

Construction of the vessel was carried out with the help of volunteers and two members of the Aymara indigenous community from Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca, Fermin Limachi and his son Yuri.

It is no accident that the Abora IV bears a striking resemblance to the famous Ra II reed boat that Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic on in 1970 — as that vessel was partly constructed by Limachi’s father.

To construct the main body of the vessel, the team lashed together bundles of totora reed, to which they added a wooden mast and two reed compartments for sleeping.

In total, 12 tonnes of reed and around a mile (two kilometres) of rope went into making the boat, which is also going to have two sails — measuring 670 and 430 square feet (62 and 40 square metres) respectively, Fermin Limachi said.

‘The main question of all is whether this boat… is able to cross the difficult island shelves of the Aegean Sea,’ Dr Görlitz said.

Reaching the Cyclades islands and then Crete will be crucial for proving the team’s hypothesis, Dr Görlitz added, as the Minoan civilisation which flourished there from 2,700 to 1,200 BC is known to have traded with Egypt.

The boat will be set into the water on Thursday, after which it will need two and a half weeks to soak, during which time it will take in between five and ten tonnes of water.

Advertisements

However, the boat cannot crack or sink thanks to the billions of air chambers inside its porous construction material, claims Dr Görlitz.

During his previous expedition in 2007, Dr Görlitz and the crew of the Abora III departed from New York and set sail for southern Spain in a bid to prove that Stone Age could make similar trans-Atlantic journeys.

Dr Görlitz’s team managed to said for 56 days before a storm ripped apart his boat 560 miles (900 kilometres) short of the Azores, the Portuguese archipelago located in the mid-Atlantic.

Follow us on Facebook – @talkmoreblog; Twitter –@clementbenjam14 for updates

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.