Log boat Ahoi! What is it?

Log boat Ahoi! Is the name of a tireless team of archaeologists and their log boat called Xiphia. We are highly motivated to beat the other crews during the international prehistoric log boat regatta 2016 in Attersee, Austria.

  To bring back the trophy we need to take our own boat with us. This is only possible in a truck. Help us to do so!

You make it, we paddle! But please don’t let us have to paddle alone all the way to Austria! 

 Xiphias Odyssey

The name of our log boat, Xiphia, means «swordfish» in Greek. And just as the powerful goddess Athena was born from Zeus’ head, so was Xiphia – our sword-fish – from a strong tree-trunk. She was built in 2014 on a model of a 3350 year old Bronze Age log boat.

A log boat is built in one piece from a single tree-trunk. Log boats have been used for thousands of years throughout the world: in the Amazonas, Southeast Asia and around the Alps! It is the simplest form for a boat, and certainly not the most useless. In Switzerland log boats were used till the beginning of the 20 century and in other countries they are still used every day to transport goods, people and ideas!

Xiphia was built as a valorisation project for an exhibition on prehistoric transportation on water. Log boats were used by the people living in the pile-dwellings around the Alps during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (from the 5to the 1 millennium BC). The pile-dwellings around the Alps are UNESCO World Heritage.

Pile-dwellings are houses built on piles and situated on the shores of the lakes around the Alps. WE know a lot about how the people lived then, since many of the pile-dwelling villages are well conserved under water. They are considered as real treasure troves for the underwater archaeologists since organic material is particularly well preserved. Thanks to these finds, certain aspects of everyday life can be reconstructed: how people dressed, ate, built their houses and their boats!

To raise awareness about this World Heritage, the NMB Neues Museum Biel and ArchaeoConcept organise log boat regattas on the lake of Biel since 2014. During the second year, we already had crews coming from Austria, Slovenia, France and Ireland!

Of course, it is fun to organise and win these races, but our main goal is to help people understand the stakes of the well-preserved but delicate and almost invisible archaeological sites.

Xiphia conquers Europe

The 2nd international log boat regatta takes place on the 6th of August in Attersee in Austria. After having organised the regattas in 2014 and 2015, we would like to participate in the third race with our log boat Xiphia.

Why Biel and Austria?

The UNESCO World Heritage «Prehistoric pile-dwellings around the Alps» includes 111 archaeological sites in six different countries? The regatta should be organised every year in one of these countries. After Austria, France will take the lead and then maybe Italy, Germany or Slovenia.

The sum of our ages (3559 years), our sizes (17,99 metres) and our weight (1100 kilogrammes) and the distance between Biel and Attersee and back (1400 kilometres) gives us the amount we need to get there : 6076, 99 francs!

Xiphia and its crew of archaeologists from the Seeland

The crew is composed of Ludivine, curator at the NMB Neues Museum Biel and her assistant Jonas; the log boat belongs to them.

And ArchaeoConcept! This small private company realize archaeological projects in Switzerland and abroad. Cynthia, Ellinor and Lauriane develop concepts with little means but long-term results.

We want to achieve this project together «Log boat Ahoi!».