Maagan Michael Boat

Maagan Michael Boat, By Oren Rozen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

with reporting by Suzanne F. Singer and Judith Sudilovsky
The Ma‘agan Mikhael Ship- The Recovery of a 2,400-Year-Old Merchantman
Edited by Eve Black

(Jerusalem- Israel Exploration Society and the University of Haifa, 2003), 268 pp. plus fold-out diagrams. $72. Available through BAS; call 1–800-221–4644. Please add $13 for shipping from Israel.

In 1985 a kibbutznik named Ami Eshel of Kibbutz Ma‘agan Mikhael was diving not far from the beach of the kibbutz, 20 miles south of Haifa, when he noticed an unusual pile of rocks with a beam of blackened wood protruding from it. This was, it turned out, what fellow-kibbutz-member Elisha Linder had been looking for for years. Linder is a professor at Haifa University and the father of maritime archaeology in Israel; he had long dreamed of finding an ancient wreck off the coast of the kibbutz—and here it was. A 2,400 year-old ship at the kibbutz’s doorstep.

Thus began a 16-year saga. The underwater survey and recovery operation was first reported at length in BAR in 1992 by project director Linder. Now, more than ten years later, the project has produced two major offerings for the public- the ship itself, finally rebuilt and on display at the Ma‘agan Mikhael Ship Museum at Haifa University (there is also a plan one day to build a working replica), and this remarkable book, which contains articles by 22 contributors. Specialists in a wide variety of fields will find in this volume a wealth of detailed information of value to their own research; the rest of us gain both insight into ancient maritime life and a real taste for what top-notch archaeologists do for a living.

Read the rest of Fruits of the Sea in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.