Excavation and Conservation
The excavation of the Galilee Boat was a difficult and delicate affair. It needed to be removed from the thick mud and carefully transported to the Yigal Allan Museum at Kibbutz Ginnosar where it would be conserved and displayed. During this process, there were many opposing forces.
First, and perhaps most dangerous, was the rising of the water to a level that would recover the newly formed excavation site. Wachsmann requested that irrigation pumps would maintain the low water level, but local experts instead built a large dike around the site to protect it from the rising water line.
As is the case in all excavation, many measures were taken to prevent damaging the artifact in any way. With the exception of a few small areas, a six-inch layer of mud was left on all services of the boat.
Excavators examined every clump of mud removed from the boat and around the boat for anything of interest and were, at times, suspended over the boat in order to continue excavation from above without harming the timbers of the vessel. The boat was constantly sprayed with water to prevent it from drying out and distorting. Every clump of mud and section of the boat was tagged and noted for later review.
When the excavation was complete, the boat was encased in a polyurethane encasement, water was pumped back into through the dikes, and the boat floated on the surface of the lake again, for the first time in two millennia.
A conservation tank was contracted nearby and the boat was taken from the lake and placed inside. Excavators once again set to work removing materials form the outside of the boat, this time its recently added polyurethane casing. Afterward, the boat was submerged in water and underwent a years-long conservation process by which the water inside the cells of the wood was replaced with polyethylene glycol).
Finally, the boat was taken to the Yigal Allon Center where it is currently on display.