The launching of the Minoan ship, Minoa (a name which proceeded after polls and a final selection of the critical committee because it refers to the Minoan dominance at sea), was held on Monday,1st December 2003, at the Venetian port of Chania outside the shipyard where it was constructed. The ceremony was fully attended by residents of our city who were impelled by interest, curiosity and enthusiasm for the projection of their town and its culture.
The reconstruction of the
Minoan ship constitutes part of a completed investigating program of
Experimental Marine Archaeology,
which lasted 4 years. The program was materialized after fruitful collaboration
The Marine Museum of
Crete, which is the inspirer and the sponsor of this program.
The Research Institute of
Ancient ship-building and Technology: NAUDOMOS.
aim of the construction of the Minoan ship is the creation of an accurate model:
17m in length and 4m in width. The materials, as well as the tools used, were
simple and representative of this era, that is cypress-tree, subsidiary sails,
grease (which the ship was coated with) to make it waterproof, and rope which
helps joining the bisected trunks together. The ancestor of this typology of
ships is believed to be the raft, which was gradually transformed in a new-typed
vessel, which was made exteriorly waterproof with cloth.
The Minoan ship will participate in the Olympic Games and
especially in the transport of the Olympic Flame to the last part of its course.
Then, it will constitute a temporary exhibit as a sample of ancient and
traditional ship construction, in one of the Venetian shipyards in the port of
Chania. The participation of the ship in cultural shows all over Greece and
abroad will come after.
Minoa will set sail from the
port of Chania to Athens in the summer of 2004 for an experimental trip, which
will last 16-17 navigable days.
Like most of our fellow citizens, we watched the formal presentation of
the reconstruction program and the announcement of its name, as well as its
launching in the “Megalo Arsenali”. Moreover, we visited an
interesting photography exhibition in the shipyard where it was built, which
informed us in details about the different processes of its construction. While
watching, we profoundly admired the inspirers as well as the inspired craftsmen
who brought this task off.
During this launching, we traveled back in past and we were able, to some degree, to comprehend what life in the Minoan Crete was like. Staring at the awe-inspiring ship, we went back, when the particular ships were our shield towards enemies and invaders, when they supported our sea domination and the trade conduction. Means of vital importance for the people, the communication and the promotion, “they dominated in the most part of Greek seas, conquered the Cyclades and founded the first colonies in most islands” according to Thucydides.