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16 September 2005
Crew plans new Bronze Age journey

The crew of a reed boat which sank after leaving Oman en route for India say they plan another attempt to recreate the Bronze Age-era voyage. The 12-metre (40ft) sailboat took in water shortly after it set sail from Sur in Oman, bound for the Indian port of Mandvi 1,000km away. One of the crew said the bitumen used to waterproof the boat did not cover the whole of its hull. The Omani Culture Ministry has said it will help to finance another boat.
     The crew of two Americans, an Australian, two Omanis, two Italians and an Indian want to prove that traders could have made the journey from Oman to India 4,000 years ago. The boat, called the Magan, was built out of reeds and date-palm fibres. It had a sail made from a wool and two teak oars. "The rim was not waterproof up to the top and the boat's bitumen amalgam coating finished 30cm [12 inches] below the rim," Maurizio Tosi of the University of Bologna, which backed the project, said.

Source: BBC News (11 September 2005)

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