Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ship Ahoist Volume 53 Number 3, May/June 2000
by Kristin M. Romey

[image] After 14 years of conservation and cleaning, the Sea of Galilee boat is lowered into its new home. (Courtesy Marina Banai, Yigal Allon Centre) [LARGER IMAGE]

After 2,000 years in the mud and another 14 in a lab, the first-century B.C.-first-century A.D. fishing boat found in the Sea of Galilee has found its permanent home in an Israeli museum. The boat was revealed in 1986 when a severe drought caused the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee to recede. Racing against the rising waters after the drought ended and a crush of press attention, archaeologists excavated the badly-waterlogged 27-foot-long wooden hull from the lake bed, reinforced it with fiberglass frames, and encased it in polyurethane foam in eight days. The boat was then floated up the coast to a specially-designed conservation pool at the Yigal Allon Museum at Ginosar, where it was submerged in a hot polyethylene glycol (PEG) bath until 1995 to preserve its waterlogged timbers. After extensive cleaning, the ancient boat was carefully hoisted via a crane into its new exhibition hall at the museum, where it will remain on permanent display.

© 2000 by the Archaeological Institute of America