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

Ribs of wood lie bare in the boat’s specially built concrete conservation pool. Once inside the pool, the boat had to be stripped of its casing—an excavation in itself. Having outsmarted the Sea of Galilee’s encroaching waters, the team now had to work furiously to remove the protective shell before the wood dried out. The boat could be re-immersed only after every shred of polyurethane had been taken off, because the buoyancy of the polyurethane would cause the parts of the boat underwater to rise. This would dangerously strain the boat’s fragile frame.