In the winter of 1986, a drought brought the Sea of Galilee to its lowest level in memory, which proved a boom for archeologists. Numerous ancient sites and artifacts, previously unknown, were discovered, including the chance discovery of a boat’s oval outline in the muddy lake bed. In less than two weeks, local newspapers proclaimed the discovery of the so-called “Jesus Boat.”
Archeologists enthusiastically d that the vessel was the first ancient ship ever found in the Sea of Galilee, and though there was no proof that Jesus had ever been near the boat, it was the type of boat that He and His twelve disciples had used. Moreover, the boat was large enough to hold 13 men. Jesus sailed the sea, and He may have even seen this particular boat, but there is way to prove that the boat had ever been used by Him or His disciples. Excavations began in earnest. With the waters of the Sea of Galilee rising, there was no time to lose.
The archeologists even invented new techniques of excavation and preservation as they went along. Just before the site was flooded, the almost completely intact hull was fully revealed, encased in polyurethane and floated to shore. We cannot definitely connect Jesus to this particular boat; however, the discovery of the “Jesus Boat” makes it easier to visualize daily life in Galilee at the time that Jesus walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.