Igor Melnik

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Igor Melnik
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Born (1961-10-01) October 1, 1961 (age 62)
Odessa, Ukrain
Alma materOdessa I. Mechnikov State University
  • Doctor of History
  • Writer
  • Scientist
  • Traveler

Igor Kirillovich Melnik was born 1 October 1961 in the city of Odessa, USSR (Ukraine) – Doctor of History, the writer, the scientist, and traveler.


In 1978, he graduated from secondary school No.36. After graduating from school, he entered and in 1983 graduated from the Odessa Marine Engineering Institute with a degree in mechanical engineering. Since childhood, Igor Melnik was fond of the history of transport, especially ancient shipbuilding and navigation. In 1988, he organized a comprehensive scientific expedition to Snake Island. It was there that the idea of ​​reconstructing an antique rowing galley was born. All the further fate of Igor Melnik was associated with the reconstruction of ships of past eras and sailing according the routes of ancient sailors. In 1992, Igor Melnik graduated from the History Department of Odessa I. Mechnikov State University and in 2004 he defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic "The history of archaic navigation. Reconstruction experience".

Recreating ancient voyages

Igor Melnik, the author of projects on reconstruction of historical navigation. Under his management reconstruction of the ships of the past eras was carried out:

1988–1992 – reconstruction of an antique bireme Ivlia. Starting from Odessa (Ukraine) in 1989, Ivlia followed the routes of the ancient mariners on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean[1] as well as the Atlantic, covering more than three thousand nautical miles in six expedition seasons and visiting over 50 European ports[2]. Finally, she sailed up the river Seine to reach Paris. To celebrate the successful completion of the voyages, the Mayor of Paris and future President of France, Jacques Chirac, was received on board the Ivlia[3]. The expedition's progress was widely covered by the international media. During the time of the voyage, hundreds of articles were published, along with dozens of TV and radio reports. Ivlia also took part in international maritime festivals: Colombo'92 in Genoa (Italy), Brest’92[4], Cancal’93, and Vieux Greements’94 (France). Over six seasons the crew members included more than 200 people – citizens of Russia, Greece, Georgia, France, Moldova, and Ukraine.

1992–1996 – reconstruction of the medieval trade ship – polacca Odessa and carrying out expeditions according to medieval trade routes in the Black Sea and up the Danube, Main, Rhine rivers.

1999–2003 – 1992–1996 – reconstruction of the medieval trade ship – polacca Odessa and carrying out expeditions according to medieval trade routes in the Black Sea and up the Danube, Main, Rhine rivers.[5].

2002–2004 – reconstruction of a series of archaic boats. These years dugout boat Perseus and the reed boat Thira, the frame boats Maeotis and Tigris, wicker baskets for swimming and a row small rafts have been constructed and tested.

2005–2010 – on the big hollowed boat Odysseus expeditions by routes of Sea Peoples in the Black Sea and up the Danube river have been made.

2010–2012 – reconstruction of the old Slavic ship Anna Yaroslavna. This ship took part in the international marine festival Brest 2012 (France).

2014–2018 – reconstruction of the ship of times of the Aegean civilization – Cadmus on which was carried out a number of expeditions in the Black Sea.

All in all on the reconstructed vessels 18 expeditions and experimental sailings during which, the recreated vessels have passed more than 12 thousand sea miles have been conducted.

Melnik Igor – author of several books and monographs on the history of ancient shipbuilding and navigation,[6] he is also the author of popular scientific documentaries series Travel to the Past. Since 2014 his popular exhibition "History of Ancient Navigation in Models and Reconstruction" was shown in Ukraine and Germany. It is possible to study books and other materials by Igor Melnik you can read on the electronic portal.


  • Schifffahrt und Schiffbau in der Antike. Bockius Ronald,- Theiss Verlag, 2007. ISBN 978-3-8062-1971-5
  • The Ancient Mariners. Casson Lionel,- Princeton University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-691-06836-4
  • L'Album de la Fete Brest'92. Gilles Daniel,- Le Chasse Maree, 1992, pp. 7, 111, 236, 257. ISBN 2-903708-37-1
  • Homeric Seafaring, Mark Samuel,- Texas University Press, 2005, ch.4,5. ISBN 1-58544-391-3
  • The Athenian Trireme, Morrison John,- Cambridge University Press, pp. 28 n.2. ISBN 0-521-56419-0
  • Il Secolo XIX, (Italy), 23.05.1992. "In porto, dopo 3 anni d'odissea, una triremi russa", Giorgio Carrozi.
  • Il Tirreno, (Italy), 06.05.1992. "Una mostra per l'Ivlia".
  • Le Monde, (France), 19.07.1992. "Pavel, galerien d'Odessa", Annick Cojean.
  • Revue Thalassa, (France), 07.1992 (№3). "Et vogue la galere" pp. 64-65.
  • Presse – Ocean (Ouest), (France), 09.09.1994. "Ivlia se prepare pour une transatlantique", Severine Le Bourhis, p. 15.
  • Le Télégramme, (France), 02.08.1994. "La galere antique a la conquete de l'Atlantique", Noel Pochet.
  • La Presse de la Manche, (France), 14.08.1993. "Et vogue la galere ukrainienne", Th. Motte, pp. 3-4.
  • Le Chasse Maree, (France), 07.1992 (№67). "Ivlia, la galere", p. 16.
  • Le Marin, (France), 21.05.1993. "Sous le vent de la galere", Cristhine Le Portal.


  1. La Stampa, (Italy), 31.05.1992 (№147). "E'approdata a Sanremo la triremi dell'antica Grecia".
  2. Libération, (France), 07.12.1993. "Ivlia ou l'Odyssee suspendue", Patrick Le Roux, pp. 28-29.
  3. Le Parisien, (edition Paris), 16.09.1993. "Une galere antique", Laurent Mauron.
  4. Brest 92. L'Album De La Fete. Gilles Daniel,- Le Chasse-Maree, 1992. ISBN 2-903708-37-1
  5. Roller, Duane W. (2006). Through the pillars of Herakles: Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic. Taylor & Francis, pp. 27-28. ISBN 0-415-37287-9
  6. Historical Maritime Sailing in Models & Reconstructions, Melnik Igor,- Phoenix, Kiev, 2010. ISBN 978-966-438-278-3

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