9th Century Ship Refitting in India

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The Jewel of Muscat, a reproduction of a 9th century Arab sailing ship, is now refitting in Cochin, Indian, after completing a month-long passage across the Arabian Sea from Port Sultan, in Muscat, Oman. The ship’s next stop will be Sri Lanka. Its ultimate goal is Singapore.

Built by the governments of Oman and Singapore, the Jewel of Muscat is based on an actual ship that was recently discovered in Indonesia, now called the “Belitung Wreck.” It has been built without any metal fasteners. Instead, shipwrights sewed the planks together with coconut fiber. The 58-foot hull is sealed with a mixture of goat fat and lime and the sails are built from palm leaves.

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The crew is also navigating using only 9th century methods and technologies.

In traveling from Oman to Singapore, the ship is retracing the likely route that the Belitung ship was on when it sank. The port of Muscat has been an important Middle East trading center since the 2nd century. The city’s name means “place of falling,” in reference to the dropping of an anchor.

The Jewel of Muscat is expected to reach Singapore by way of the Bay of Bengal and the Straits of Malacca in June. For the latest news on the Jewel of Muscat, including her current position, click here.

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