Shelley Wachsmann is the Meadows Professor of Biblical Archaeology at Texas A&M University’s Nautical Archaeology Program. He specializes in ancient watercraft and seafaring. And has carried out numerous underwater archaeological surveys and excavations in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and the Sea of Galilee. Wachsmann has published six books and more than 100 articles on the results of his field research and on other archaeological subjects.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXV, October 8 & 9, 2022
“Some Went Down to the Sea in Ships…”: Ships, Boats, and Seafaring in Biblical Times
From Noah’s Ark to the shipwrecks of Saint Paul, and from Jonah’s failed escape to Jesus’s ministry on the Sea of Galilee, the Bible is replete with references to ships, boats, and seafaring practices. The sea—deep, wide, unpredictable, and mysterious—is a powerful symbol for divinity and the subconscious. The Mediterranean, at a more physical level, was the frontdoor to ancient Israel, through which came both treasure and terror and on which sailed some of the most intrepid sailors the world had ever known.
Nautical archaeologists, together with scholars from other disciplines, are working to piece together a coherent picture of seafaring in biblical times. This lecture will delve into discoveries and research that now allows a deeper understanding of descriptions of seafaring in the Bible.