Saturday 21 November 2009

The Ancient Galilee Boat at Ginosar. Visit the 'Miriam Vered'

The severe drought in the mid 1980's in Israel had at least one positive aspect.  In 1986, two brothers from Kibbutz Ginosar found the remains of an ancient boat which had been buried - and preserved - in the Kinneret's muddy sediments for some two thousand years.  The Israel Antiquities Authority mounted their own version of the Mary Rose rescue, using similar chemical preservatives.  It took fourteen years to complete the conservation process and to house it in a very special, atmospherically controlled, environment in a purpose built museum on the kibbutz.  The  preservation methods may have been identical to the Mary Rose, but the difference was just one of scale.  The Galilee boat is merely 8.2 metres ( 27 feet) long, built to the typical Mediterranean edge to edge 'shell' system, rather than the northern European overlapping method with which we are familiar from Viking longboats to rowing boats on the park lake.  Our boat had a single sail and oars and looked very similar to boats in ancient illustrations. 
Archaeologists have dated the wood and some of the artefacts found in and near the boat to the first centuries BCE - CE.  Was the vessel a simple fishing boat, or could it have been used by the Judaean resistance fighters in their disastrous naval battle against the might of Rome in 67 CE, as described by Josephus?

The boat, together with an excellent audio visual explanation, can be found in a new wing of the Yigal Allon Centre on Kibbutz Ginosar, on Route 90, just north of Tiberias.  You won't be disappointed that you made the trip.

To view a Google map of this site, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment