ABORA expedition: Dominique Görlitz trained with international team

Dominique Görlitz führt auf dem Geiseltalsee wieder Segeltests durch.

The preparations for the ABORA IV expedition - that will set sail from the Russian city of Sochi within the coming two years - have already been underway since 2016. In order to be well-prepared for the difficult manoeuvres to be expected during the expedition, experimental archaeologist Dominique Görlitz once again conducted sailing tests on Lake Geiseltalsee in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, where the fascinating Global Topspeaker held a training event with an international team from six different nations.

Apart from members of the German “Verein für experimentelle Archäologie und Forschung e.V.” (Association for Experimental Archaeology and Research, reg. ass.), potential expedition members from the US, the Netherlands, Turkey, Russia and Greece came together from May 11 to 15. The world-wide level of interest in Görlitz’s research project is high: Renowned scientists and archaeologists expect the fourth ABORA expedition so far to provide important answers regarding prehistoric trade relations.

Ancient sources report an age-old trade route between Egypt and the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. In this region of present-day Russia, which is also called Phasis or Colchis, metals such as gold, bronze and iron were being smelted: highly treasured trade goods. Scientists also refer to this trade route as the „Silk road of the North“. With the ABORA IV expedition, experimental researcher and extreme sailor Dominique Görlitz wants to prove that - with the sailing technology of the time - it was possible to cross the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and to thus establish said trade relations.

His previous ABORA expeditions have already provided ground-breaking results for historical research and turned current knowledge upside down. In his endeavours, however, Dominique Görlitz also gained important experience in putting together and working with teams. In his fascinating presentations, he transfers this knowledge to corporate work and develops an innovative perspective of modern business for his audience.

The sailing tests at Lake Geiseltalsee were also about developing international team competence, however, for the stone-age leeboard sailing technology without rudder requires a high degree of well-coordinated teamwork. Germany’s largest, artificial lake close to the city of Halle (on the river Saale) provided ideal training conditions for the future ABORA IV expedition as the participants were able to practice sailing against the wind in similar conditions as those prevailing at sea.

To this end, a smaller training raft called DILMUN S. had been constructed last year already and initial sailing tests had been conducted at the time as well. At the recent sailing event in May, Dominique Görlitz intensified the training and brought an international group of interested parties together to participate in the undertaking.

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