Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Anchors away

Now on display in the Israel Museum are two wooden anchors recently discovered in the Dead Sea, both of which date back to Biblical times. One of the anchors dates back to 500 B.C. (roughly the time of Malachi) and the other dates back to the the 1st century A.D. (the time of Jesus and the early church).

The level of the Dead Sea has shrunk dramatically in recent years and its retreat left these anchors exposed, hence, their discovery. The metal components to the anchors no longer exist, but the wooden pieces and some of the attached ropes remain, being preserved by the Dead Seas's high salinity and low oxygen levels. Archaeologists are hopeful that as the Dead Sea continues to recede that perhaps even an intact intact boat may be found.