The California Science Center in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority is proud to present “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition“, the largest of its kind ever mounted outside of Israel, featuring over 600 ancient artifacts.
Opening March 10, 2015 at the California Science Center, the exhibition explores the science and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, manuscripts composed, copied and hidden in caves 2000 years ago. Over half of the scrolls on display have never before been seen in the US, and some have never been exhibited since their discovery. The Los Angeles presentation is made possible with generous support from presenting sponsors The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Jewish Life Television and the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles.
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Of special interest will be sections from ten of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including parts of the oldest discovered copies of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament. The fragmentary scrolls in the exhibition contain passages from Genesis, Isaiah, Psalms, and even, an ancient marriage contract dated to the 1st century CE. Visitors will experience the Dead Sea Scrolls within the rich historical and cultural context of ancient Israel. Through multimedia exhibits, guests will explore the science and technology used to date, assemble and preserve these ancient manuscripts for future generations.
Additional highlights include a 3-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, limestone capitals from the First Temple period (1000-586 BCE), ossuaries (ancient bone boxes) from the early Roman period, and a signature preserved for millennia on the unique Archer Seal. Among the over 600 artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine period in Israel are examples of delicate jewelry, pottery shards bearing royal seals, weapons including sling-stones and arrowheads, and many objects excavated from active archaeological sites in Israel.
“We can only piece together the past by examining and interpreting objects from daily life or ancient written documents, ” said Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn, Professor at San Diego State University and one of the exhibition curators. “This exhibition reveals in ancient pots, coins, weapons, jewelry, and handwritten texts, a record of extraordinary human achievement constituting a significant contribution to our own cultural legacy.”
The centerpiece of “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition” will be the presentation of 20 texts (ten scrolls at a time, in two rotations) that are part of the remarkably preserved trove known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls date from 250 BCE to 68 CE and were discovered in a group of caves near Khirbet Qumran, close to the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. Most of the texts are written in Hebrew, though some are in Aramaic and Greek.