The ARGO was built in traditional style and by traditional methods and is a real, working, full scale replica.
According to the legend, when Jason undertook the task of returning the golden fleece from Colchis, he invited all brave heros of this era to accompany him on his great adventure. The ship was built by Argos and was named after him: ARGO. Jason and the Argonauts set sail from ancient Lolkos (Volos) and cruised out of the Pagasitikos Gulf and here began the myth of the quest of the Argonauts.
According to the geopolitical interpretation of the myth, during the 14th century BC, the Achaeans of Magnesia sought out a vital ecomonic area at sea. However they were forced to seek an exit at the North, to the Black Sea. Due to the powerful, Aegean-headed currents of the Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait), a ship with many oars was necessary, more than the usual 30 of the era. Thus, the mythical ARGO was developed and became the archetype of the prehistoric penteconter (fify oared ship).
Prior to its launch on 2007 this ARGO replica was constructed using traditional methods. The keel of the ship was made from Oak and Beech wood, while the hull was mainly made of Pine, its rigging, oars and mast was made of Fir, while the hard slider under the keel was made of Ash. All these kinds of trees can still be found on Mt. Pelion and in the broader region of Magnesia.
Summer 2008 - Retracing the mythical voyage
Magnesia or more specifically Alikes, Volos and the Pagasitikos Gulf is the place where legend has it that Jason set sail in the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece.
In the summer of 2008 an ARGO voyage took place after many months of practice. Its route, as far as distance, time and the level of difficulty were concerned, was equal to the scale of the mythical journey of the Argo. This trip covered 650 nautical miles, took place in daylight hours and always in view of shores, 24 'legs of sailing using oars, 54 days in total including stops. During this trip the Argo was accompanied by a support vessel that carries the rest of the delegation , backup oarsmen and necessary facilities.
Video: The construction of the ARGO replica, launching and initial voyage
Well worth watching to see the magic of the modern ARGO - Very few people have seen this! See the effort that was put into the design and construction of this vessel using traditional methods and tools.
The modern voyage of the ARGO - June 2012
In 2012, in Volos, the Argo replica is on display along the seafront (Paralia) for all to see. It has successfully completed another adventure in June 2012 for the filming of a new BBC documentary series. In cooperation between David Adams Films and the Volos City Council filming took place from Alikes/Volos (the ancient port of Lolcos) and out into the Pagasitikos Gulf for filming of a new 6 part documentary series called:
OXUS - Secrets of a Lost World.
"This 6 part series begins in Volos Greece and illustrates the new discoveries we have made, suggesting that the Argonautic legend is based on fact and originates in the post-Neolithic seafarers spread through the Mediterranean". David Adams.
MIXit Sailing Ltd provided location services and planning/organisation for this project which was a great success for all concerned. This new documentary series is due for release on the BBC next year.
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