Bible and archaeology news
What is a monumental ancient stone structure doing in the Sea of Galilee? In a recent issue of The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, Israeli archaeologists, geophysicists and oceanographers discuss an 880,000-cubic-foot,* 60,000-ton structure submerged in the Sea of Galilee.
While the cairn has no discernible construction pattern, the researchers note that it does not resemble any natural feature and must be manmade. It is composed of basalt boulders that would have been transported hundreds of feet to the site. Researchers involved with the project are unsure whether the original construction was an underwater installation, or whether it was built during a period with low water levels, only to be submerged over time. Fish nurseries built to sustain ancient marine-based economies have been discovered in the Sea of Galilee, but none match the scale of this recent discovery. The researchers see possible ties to nearby Early Bronze Age settlements such as Bet Yerah that feature monumental fortified structures from the third millennium B.C.E. The immense scale of the underwater discovery calls for further study; the authors write that a full-scale, underwater archaeological expedition “is needed to explore its foundations, search for indicative artefacts, and provide firm dating evidence.”
Wachsmann, Shelley. “Archaeological Views: Archaeology Under the Sea.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2006, 26, 80.
Wachsmann, Shelley. “The Galilee Boat—2,000-Year-Old Hull Recovered Intact.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 1988, 18-33.
Misch-Brandl, Osnat. “Ancient Seafarers Bequeath Unintended Legacy.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1985, 40-43.
Hohlfelder, Robert L. “Caesarea Beneath the Sea.” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1982, 42-47.
Linder, Elisha. “Excavating an Ancient Merchantman.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1992, 24-29, 3135.
Vann, Lindley. “News from the Field: Herod’s Harbor Construction Recovered Underwater.” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1983, 10-11, 14.
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