Kibbutz Ginosar's premier tourist attraction is a wooden fishing boat from the 1st century AD, found on the shore by two amateur archaeologists in 1986. Three years of drought had lowered the level of Lake Kinneret, and bits of the ancient wood were suddenly exposed in the mud. Excavated in a frenetic 11 days, the 28-foot-long boat became an instant media sensation. Given the frequency of New Testament references to Jesus and his disciples boating on the Sea of Galilee—including
coming ashore at Gennesaret, perhaps today's Ginosar—the press immediately dubbed it the "Jesus Boat."
On the other hand, the startlingly vivid relic might have been a victim of the Roman naval victory over the rebellious Jewish townspeople of nearby Magdala in AD 67, as described by the historian Flavius Josephus. Whatever its unknown history, it is the most complete boat this old ever found in an inland waterway anywhere in the world. Today it is beautifully exhibited in all its modest but remarkably evocative glory in a specially built pavilion in the Yigal Alon Museum. A short video tells the story.
Nof Ginosar, off Rte. 90, Ginosar, 14100, Israel