Thursday, March 29, 2007

 

An ancient voyage in just two months

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Turkish Daily News
By Ömer Erbíl
March 29, 2007


Journey from Foça to Marseille.. A group, who built the replica of ships used by old Foça people 2,600 year ago, will set to sail next year. The voyage will last two months.

The 360 Degree Research Group, which had built the replica of the oldest known shipwreck, Uluburun II, is now getting ready to initiate a new project anticipating a voyage from Phokaia (modern Foça) to the Marseille via two replica ancient ships.

According to the project, the ships will reflect the periodic features of 2,600 year ago and be built in line with the archaeological characteristics of the period.

The ships are scheduled to set sail from İzmir's Eskifoça (Old Foça) in April of 2008 and arrive in France's Marseille after a two-month voyage, following the route of ships in 600 B.C. and thus stopping at the Mediterranean and Aegean ports of Molyvos, Ithaka and Aléria, spots where the ancient Foça people used to establish colonies.

The building of two ancient ships, planned both with sailing and paddle, will kick off at the end of April in İzmir's Urla district. The sailing commercial ship will be 15 meters long and the warship with paddles will be 19 meters.

Project adviser Osman Erkurt of the 360 Degree Research Group said, “We already discussed the issue with Marseille Municipality, which assured us that they would support our project. It seems that Marseille will see lots of Turkish flags next year.”

The research group's project will also include an international symposium in Foça where scientists will make a presentation on Foça colonies as well as an exhibition in Marseille where ancient Foça ships will be featured. Besides these activities, works will be carried out in an effort to make İzmir and Marseille into brother cities and a documentary featuring the ship's voyages will be shot.

Uluburun:
A replica of the oldest known shipwreck, Uluburun II, was built by the 360 Degree Historical Research Association in Urla, İzmir and displayed in Bodrum as part of activities marking the 80th anniversary of Sabotage Day in July.

Considered to be one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century, the 3,300-year-old Uluburun took its place in history as the oldest commercial vessel while the artifacts - including a 3,300-year-old seal believed to belong to Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, a huge amphora and jewelry - excavated from the shipwreck excited science and archeology circles.

The artifacts discovered in the Uluburun shipwreck are still on display at the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum.


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