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
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.