Courtesy Israel Dept. of Antiquities and Museums/Photo: Danny Friedman

The boat emerges from the muck, on the first night of digging. The drought had broken, and forecasts were calling for more rain. Racing the rising lake waters, the team of experts and local volunteers was forced to work day and night. By digging at night, however, they risked damaging or losing smaller artifacts not visible in the warm yellow glow of gas lanterns, their only light source. To avoid any oversights, they removed mud by hand and placed it in plastic boxes precisely labeled according to location. Then, by daylight, they could examine the earth for artifacts.