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Bronze Age boat replica fails to float

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The
replica Bronze Age boat fails to float

by Graham Tutthill

gtutthill@thekmgroup.co.uk

The band was ready, the champagne was on hand, Time Team's
Tony Robinson was there to record the historic event, and the
crowds gathered to watch as a half-size replica of Dover's Bronze
Age boat prepared to take to the water.

The only problem was, it started to sink.

A team of craftsmen and archaeologists had been working for
several months to build the replica boat, using the same tools and
the same methods as their ancestors would have used when the
original boat was built more than 3,500 years earlier.

Replica Bronze Age Boat
Replica Bronze Age Boat

But time was against them. They only completed the task a couple
of hours before the launch was due to take place and there was no
time to test it.

A team of rowers, complete with life-jackets, were waiting to go
on board, but they were not needed.

As the boat was gently lowered into the water at Dover Marina,
it soon became clear there was a problem.

It started listing to one side, and after a few minutes it had
to be hoisted back out again. Water had got into the boat, and now,
as it made its way back on to dry land, water was dripping out
of it again.

But the team, though disappointed, were undeterred, and said
they would continue their work.

"We are hopeful that we can think again and make the boat good,"
said archaeologist Peter Clark who has led the project.

"We have come an awfully long way in the past three and a half
months and we think we are nearly there."

Paying tribute to all those who had worked on the boat, Mr
Clark named it Ole Crumlin-Pederson after a Danish
archaeologist who had worked on the project, but died before it was
completed.

Full story and pictures in the Dover Mercury next
Thursday.

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