In the plaster covering the cistern walls, the excavators, Dr. Davida Eisenberg-Degen and Avishay Levi-Hevroni of the authority, spotted thinly engraved lines. Though many of the lines have become less visible over time, they could make out the depictions of boats, a sailor and animals. Thirteen ships were engraved in the plaster of the cistern walls.The cistern was constructed in the first or second century C.E. The IAA announcement implies that the graffiti are the same age as the cistern.
According to Eisenberg-Degen, a specialist in rock art and graffiti at the authority, the ships include technical details and present proportions which suggest that the artist was knowledgeable in ship construction.
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