Phoenicia vessel to visit Yemen soon

Yemen News Agency SABA
Phoenicia vessel to visit Yemen soon
[09/ September/2008]

ADEN, Sep. 09 (Saba)- The Phoenicia vessel and on its board 20 sailors from different nationalities is going to arrive in the Aden port within next two days in the formwork of its journey which started last August from Arwad Island off the coast of Syria.

The sailing ship attempts to replicate what the Greek historian Herodotus mentions as the first circumnavigation of Africa in about 600 BC. It would involve the circumnavigation of Africa, a feat which has not been undertaken for two and a half millennia.

The route goes through the Red Sea, past Somalia and down the East African cost before rounding the southern tip of Africa around Christmas time.

According to Philip Beale, the ship's captain, "The most difficult part will be circumnavigating around the Cape of Good Hope where many shipwrecks are testimony to the difficult conditions there."

The vessel, the small, pine-wood Phoenicia, is modelled on the type of ship the Phoenician sailors Herodotus credited with the landmark voyage would have used.

The year-long voyage will take the crew into some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

The vessel will return next May to Syria and then to the British Museum in London to participate in a Phoenician civilization exhibition which will be held there during 2009-2010.

According to maritime sources, the Phoenicia ship's tour to the port of Aden aims at visiting the historical sites of Yemen's cultural civilization, pointing out that the province had arranged a reception program to the vessel sailors.

"The sailors are going to visit the archeological and historical sites in the province and meet a number of Yemeni researchers", said the sources.

The Phoenicians lived in areas of modern-day Lebanon, Syria and other parts of the Mediterranean from about 1200 BC and are widely credited with being both strong seafarers and the first civilization to make extensive use of an alphabet.