KIBBUTZ GINOSAR, Israel-A Sea of Galilee fishing boat dating to the time of Jesus was displayed Monday for the first time in nine years.
Scientists drained rust-colored preservation fluid from a tank containing the 27-foot by 7.1/4-foot vessel, known as the “Jesus Boat”.
Two Israeli fishermen discovered the boat in 1986 on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have walked on water. Soon after it was found, the vessel was submerged in the preservation fluid, which reinforces the wood.
“We’re quite happy with the result,” said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Orna Cohen.
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute near Tel Aviv used carbon-14 tests, a method based on measuring radioactive isotopes, on the boat’s seven types of wood to determine its approximate age.
“It is 2,000 years old-dated from A.D. 50, plus or minus 80 years,” Cohen Said.
Excavator Kurt Raveh said that while the boat may not have belonged to Jesus, it has spiritual value by being linked to his era.
Archaeologists believe the boat may have been sunk in A.D. 66-70 in a battle for Tarichae city.
Plans call for the boat eventually to be placed on permanent public display.