The experimental reed boat of the expedition “Abora IV – Argonauts from the Stone Age” sailed from Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna on August 16, on a mission to test the hypothesis that there once was an ancient trading route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
In Facebook posts, the organisers of the expedition said that reports had referred to Egypt as a final destination, but “the geographical goal is open”.
“We do not want to sail endlessly, but demonstrate that a ride across the difficult Black and Marmara Sea was possible. How far we ultimately come is therefore not so important. Rather, we want to correlate oceanographic data with archaeological data so that we can better reconstruct later the less explored trading contacts.”
According to a report by Bulgarian National Radio, the reed boat is 14 metres long, four metres wide and two metres high.
The boat was built by two members of the Aymara tribe, who live on the shores of Lake Titicata, at Beloslav Lake near Varna. To guide the design, rock drawings from the Caucasus, Egypt and Mesopotamia were used.
The crew, seeking the trade routes between the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean described by Herodotus, include Germans, a Bulgarian – archaeologist Teodor Rokov of Varna – and citizens of the Netherlands, Bolivia, the United States, Russia, Turkey and Greece.