Two thousand six hundred years ago, the truth of the PHOENICIA’s original design was in the low oxygen mud of the ancient French seaport of Marseilles on the coast of the Western Mediterranean Sea.
In July 1993, French construction workers discovered the shipwreck, and she soon became known to the archaeological world as Jules Verne 7.
Twenty years ago, Royal Navy officer, Philip Beale, determined that he would use the design of the 600 BC shipwreck to show how the ancient Phoenicians built seaworthy vessels capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Late in 2019 the PHOENICIA sailed across the Atlantic and came to a resting place in Fort Lauderdale. Last year a severe tropical storm knocked out the power to the bilge pump sending the ship to the bottom of a 10-foot canal. Soon there after, property owners wanted the ship removed and the US Coast Guard suggested scuttling her off the coast of Florida.
Captain Beale decided to cut her up and take the pieces to England. At that point, Heartland Research contact Philip and bought the PHOENICIA . At the time of purchase, half of the ship was already on the Atlantic Ocean. Heartland Research quickly moved the other half of the ship to the west bank of the Mississippi at Montrose, Iowa.
Summer 2022 — 3,000 Hours of Donated Work
On January 15, 2022 a 40-foot container of cut pieces from the PHOENICIA arrived from Florida to Iowa.
During the course of the last three months, more than a hundred volunteers from a dozen different states came to work on the restoration of the PHOENICIA. Not one of the workers had ever had a chance to work on the assembly of such an ancient ship. The nautical drawings were useful in laying out the pieces. It soon became clear that the ship had more than 6,000 joints holding the planks, hull and keel together. Each joint had to be kept in its proper place within a tolerance of 1/16th of an inch. There were a million ways things could go wrong and only one way for them to go right.
God is always in the details of our lives. He sent the right people with the right skills at the right time and over the course of the last 100 days we learned how to join the cut pieces of the ship together. All of the volunteers felt the power of the ancient ship as she came together standing as as witness of how the Old World connects to the New Work 600 years before Christ.