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 Call by the Ship "Jewel of Muscat" at the Port of Galle
 

Ship "Jewel of Muscat"

A ninth Century reconstructed Omani ship, the 'Jewel of Muscat', is due to call at the Port of Galle on approximately 18th April 2010. Its arrival date will be determined by weather conditions since it will be using its sails for its voyage. It does not have an engine.

The 'Jewel of Muscat' commenced its voyage from Oman on 15th February 2010 to re-enact the voyage that the seafaring nations of the time undertook to facilitate "international trade" in a bygone era. It will travel along the identical route as described by Arab geographers, using the same knowledge of  Arab seamen. The ship  reached a port in Cochin, in Kerala, India on 15th March 2010, and will sail from Cochin to Galle, Sri Lanka. If the ship arrives as scheduled, it would depart from the Galle Port on 4th May 2010 and will sail across the Andaman Sea to Penang in Malaysia and then sail down the Malacca Straits to Singapore.

The 'Jewel of Muscat' represents a major feat of maritime engineering, where the hull has been sewn together with coconut fibre. The ship, which is built without nails to seal the hull, has each timber fitted perfectly. The wood is protected by a layer of goat fat mixed with lime, and the sails are square and made from palm leaves, re-creating the original technology.  The ship is manned by an international crew, including sailors from Sri Lanka.

This historical and cultural initiative launched by the Governments of Oman and Singapore, involves the reconstruction of this ninth century ship sailing from Oman to Singapore. The ship's design is based on the archaeological findings of the Belitung Wreck, which was discovered in 1998 off the Indonesian coast. The ship was found to contain considerable treasure in the form of ceramic and gold artifacts, now known as the Tang Treasure, which are in Singapore.

To coincide with the arrival of the 'Jewel of Muscat', a series of events, including a joint cultural show would be organised by Sri Lanka. An Omani delegation is also due to arrive in Sri Lanka to participate in this historic event. The call by the ship at the Port of Galle will provide a unique opportunity to strengthen the friendship and deepen cultural and diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Oman.
(DM-31032010)

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