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New “Harbour” for the Galilee Boat

Courtesy of The Original Jesus Boat Store of the Jesus Boat Museum, Nof Ginosar 

Vessel on View in State-of-the-Art Exhibit

Biblical Archaeology Review

The famous Jesus Boat has found a permanent home in an exhibit hall inside the Yigal Allon Centre's Man in the Galilee Museum. The Jesus Boat will put the musuem on the map for tourists coming to Israel.

Fourteen Years after its dramatic discovery, the famous “Sea of the Galilee Boat”, sometimes called the “Jesus Boat”, has found a permanent home. The vessel, which dates back to the time of Jesus and the disciples he called to be “fishers of men”, first came to light in 1986 during a severe drought that exposed portions of the Galilee lake bed. Painstakingly extricated from the mud that encased it, the boat was initially moved to a conservation pool on the grounds of the Igal Allon Centre in nearby Tiberias. Under the meticulous care of archaeological conservators, it remained there for nearly a decade and a half. But in February the 2,000-year-old fishing vessel made one final trip. With the conservation process completed at last, the boat was lifted from its humble surroundings and transferred to a state-of-the-art exhibit hall inside the Igal Allon Centre’s Man in the Galilee Museum. The new attraction is likely to make the museum a choice destination for the multitudes flocking to Israel this year. And justly so: As boat conservator Orna Cohen points out, this is a wonderful opportunity to view “the only authentic object from the period of Jesus on display in its natural habitat.” For those readers who don’t have Israel on their itinerary this year, Shelley Wachsmann’s fascinating account of the boat’s recovery is definitely worth a fresh look (“The Galilee Boat – 2,000-Year-Old Hull Recovered Intact,” BAR, September/October 1988).

“New ‘Harbour’ for the Galilee Boat”, Biblical Archaeology Review, May / June 2000, Vol. 26 No. 3

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