Culture And Media

Syria: Model of historic vessel to recall ancient civilisation

Damascus, 21 May (AKI) - Syria has announced plans to build a model of a Phoenecian vessel based on the original methods and materials used by the most famous maritime fleet in the ancient world.

The boat called the Phoenicia will be 21.5 metres long and 17 metres high and will sail from the Syrian island of Arwad in August and return in May 2009, after passing through the Red Sea and the Straits of Gibraltar to reach the Cape of Good Hope.

The vessel will carry 20 sailors of various nationalities including the explorer Philip Beale.

A group of maritime experts are developing the project with the support of the Britain's Royal Geographical Society, the British Museum and under the aupices of the the general secretary of the "Damascus, capital of Arab culture 2008" initiative.

Several historians and archeologists from around the world will participate in the project.

"This project is a historic revival and African, European and Middle Eastern children will take part in it," said Beale, the head of the expedition.

"Most of the people in the world can follow the voyage and learn many things about the Phonecians and their surprising explorative sense," said Beale, the head of the expedition.

Beale appealed to the people of the Middle East to take part in the expedition.

"It will be a marvellous experience. We want to encourage people to take part in it, especially because we do not expect everyone to have a lot of maritime experience."

At the end of the voyage, the ship will be moved to Britain where it will be displayed in one of the important national museums as a symbol of Phonecian culture.

Phoenician civilisation was based around maritime trading that spread across the Mediterranean between 1200 B.C. and 900 B.C. They often traded by means of a galley, a man-powered sailing vessel.




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