The Monoxylon III Expedition

Info

Thanks to the new archeological finds from the Middle and Younger Stone Age found at Cyprus, Crete and other islands of Aegean Sea the subject of the oldest Mediterranean navigation is still relevant in current professional literature. There are only few new practical attempts which would contribute to address the questions of the spreading of the oldest agriculture and maritime navigation. (e.g. Kythira Expedition 2014 from the Peloponnese to western Crete on board of a boat made of bundles of plants). In most cases it is represented by computer modelling cases based on the direction of the sea currents. The current interest is in the verification of the influence of wind direction, the possible use of a simple sail and navigation respecting natural conditions (and thus the experience of the ancient seamen). This is the challenge for the upcoming Monoxylon III Expedition planned for May/June 2019.

The route

The route of the Monoxylon III Expedition represents a special challenge. By choosing the most suitable sailing period (May, June) it goes back to the solution of getting over the long distances in between the islands.

The planned route leads from the Attica Peninsula across the chain of island to the isle of Milos which was a significant source of obsidian (the same route as the Greek expedition Papyrela 1988, this will allow for mutual comparison) and from there to the islands of Santorini and Crete. The last distance indicated, with a length of over 100 km, represents an important test of distances which could play a significant role in the assessment of the spread of agriculture across other parts of the Mediterranean. These include the colonisation of Cyprus, covering of the Adriatic Sea and the spread of obsidian between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia. Obsidian of Milos, found in the lower layers of famous Knossos in Crete, suggests a transportation line that could have been realised by either a more (Santorini – Crete) or less (Peloponnese – Western Crete) difficult route.

The Boat

Monoxylon III goes back to the chiselled out boat used for the expedition of Monoxylon II, the possible increase of the speed of the boat, the possible adjustments of the bow and the stern, which had been successfully proven at Monoxylon I and which has got also a possible reflection in the oldest depiction of younger vessels of The Older Bronze Age.

The boat of the Monoxylon III Expedition