Friday, February 26, 2010

Long-lost Armenian ship, the stuff of legend, to become living museum in the Caribbean: Explorers unravel mystery of “Quedagh Merchant” hijacked 1698

Long-lost Armenian ship, the stuff of legend, to become a “living museum” in the Caribbean: Explorers unravel mystery of the “Quedagh Merchant” hijacked in 1698
by Emil Sanamyan
"According to British records, Kidd captured the Quedagh Merchant (also known as Cara Merchant) in January 1698 from Armenian traders near the coast of India and then sailed on it to the Caribbean....

"When I first heard of this Armenian ship in early 2007, I thought to myself: right, this is just another fable that Armenians like to brag about among themselves," recalled Pavel Galoumian, who together with his wife Isabella Agad, was recognized at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo on June 1 at an event dedicated to the discovery of the shipwreck.

But after checking British sources, Mr. Galoumian learned that the Armenian provenance of the vessel was well-documented....

... the Galoumians - he a physicist who had worked at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva and she a professional translator ...

... joined with sea enthusiasts from Yerevan's Ayas Nautical Research Club led by Karen Balayan, who in 2004-6 had sailed around Europe in a replica of the 13th-century Armenian vessel Kilikia.

In a sketch, "The Quest for the Armenian vessel: Quedagh Merchant," prepared in March 2007, Ayas members said that beginning that December they would undertake an expedition to the Caribbean Sea aboard a 46-foot yacht, Anahit, sailing under the flag of the Republic of Armenia....

But just days after the Anahit sailed from the United States came the stunning news reports.

Researchers from University of Indiana (IU), acting on a tip to Dominican officials from a local resident, found what appeared to be the long-lost Quedagh Merchant....

(Read the whole article here.

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