Jesus Boat Museum
A recently discovered boat from the period of Jesus is one of the more fascinating artifacts to see while on a Christian Holy Land tour. A boat of this type would have been used by Jesus and his disciples, several of whom were fisherman.
The boat is displayed at the Yigal Alon Museum at Kibbutz Ginosar. The restored boat is an impressive sight, and a full-scale model of what it would have looked like centuries ago is on view as well.
The museum also tells the story of the discovery of the boat. During a particularly difficult drought in the 1980's, the Sea of Galilee receded dramatically, and the edge of the boat became visible. It was discovered by two brothers, fishermen and amateur archaeologists, who had always dreamed of finding an ancient boat. Pulling the boat out of the water was a 12-day process. Despite attempts to keep the dig secret, rumors spread that a boat full of treasures had been found, and the area had to be guarded day and night from looters. Restoration of the Jesus boat took years, including a seven-year submersion in a chemical bath.
Although there is no evidence that Jesus or his disciples ever used this particular boat, it is known that a lot of their travel was across bodies of water. Transportation by boat is mentioned in the Gospels over 50 times. Archaeologists had previously only known about boating in the first century from written materials, so the discovery of this boat was an important find for historical research.