One of our students, Patrik Tesař, joined the “Monoxylon III“ expedition team to practically experience a pre-historic voyage across the Aegean Sea. The third part of the Monoxylon project was long awaited, and it was carried out at the turn of May and June 2019 – more than twenty years after the preceding voyage.
The expedition returned to the Aegean region, this time with the aim to take the route from mainland Lavria through a chain of islands to the island of Mélos, where there is a significant source of obsidian. Then the voyage continued to the island of Santorini and to the island of Crete, which was the longest distance covered during the whole voyage. The aim of the voyage was to confirm how important the tradition of wooden ships was for the oldest shipping in the Mediterranean.
Patrik Tesař shared his experience with us: “It is extremely difficult to describe how grateful I am for being allowed to participate and sail in such an important expedition as Monoxylon was. My participation was actually caused by a coincidence. If I go back to my childhood in my memories, I remember the first time I saw the Monoxylon exhibition in the Archeopark in Všestary. The hollowed-out ships made for the previous two expeditions completely captivated me. But it would never have occurred to my mind that one day I would be sitting on one of such ships and I would be sailing the Aegean Sea, paddling steadily and sitting side by side with a group of amazing people and pulling one rope heading for new adventures.
Personally, I must say that this sea expedition has given me much more than just adventure and unforgettable experiences. I stepped out of my comfort zone, which made me start living in the present. I got rid of certain ideas and thoughts, and I gained true freedom. So powerful Monoxylon is!
As we were sailing through the Cycladic islands, we could notice how important the sea is for this area. It is a source of livelihood, but it also connects the distant islands. I can imagine that this was the place where the first sea voyages may have taken place, which resulted in people being able to trade goods and settle down in new places.
Culture is the key term of transcultural communication. During the expedition, I had the privilege to get familiar with both ancient culture and contemporary culture. In Greece, these two cultures breathe simultaneously. I came into contact with historical artefacts and I visited wonderful ancient sights and monuments.
This expedition enriched me with such great experience and opened my horizons so much that no future holiday travels can possibly compete with that.
The Monoxylon expedition was fruitful not only for the professional sphere of experimental archaeology. It has brought far more evidence than it might seem at the first glance. In the near future, you can watch the documentary film which is currently being prepared and which will soon present other interesting facts from and about the expedition. You will have an opportunity to tune into the right wave with a group of enthusiasts who have achieved something unique.”