Thirty years after the 2,500 year old shipwreck was discovered off the coast at Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael, a replica of the vessel will be launched by the University of Haifa and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The ship discovered in 1985, just off the coast of the kibbutz, was removed from the sea in 1988 in a project directed by Dr. Elisha Linder, one of the founders of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa. Most of the ship had been covered in sand, helping to preserve it in a remarkable condition. In a complex procedure undertaken at the University of Haifa, a special preservative was inserted into the wooden base of the ship, which received its own display room at the university’s Hecht Museum.
The keel, numerous wooden plates, 14 crossbars, and the base of the mast were all preserved, offering researchers rare insights into the method used to construct the ship. The preserved tools found in the ship included the carpenter’s toolbox, a discovery that sparked the dream of building a replica using the same materials, methods and tools used by the original shipwrights.
Brought to fruition, that replica will be officially launched this Friday (March 17) from Kishon harbor to the waters where its elder sister sailed 2500 years ago. According to the ancient practice of launching a new vessel, oil and water, blessing Poseidon, are to be poured into the sea for good luck.