Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dead Sea Scrolls: Follow up

On Sunday, December 2, 2012 students from the art history courses and a few additional friends, via the Religion Department, visited the travelling exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  The name of the exhibit is "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times." 

I deliver the agenda for the afternoon. 

Escalators to the exhibit hall
Inside the exhibit, we learned how Israel was an ancient crossroads between the Arabian Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Its the source for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.  The Biblical era, also known as the Iron Age (ca. 1200 BCE) brought forth the birth and evolution of the Israelites who adopted a variation of a Phoenician alphabet to begin writing their Bible (book or library).

In the exhibit, we viewed 10 selections from the Scrolls, that are 2000-year-old parchments and that address the latter Hellenic and Roman control of this region. The scrolls were non-Biblical and Biblical, thus giving us a glimpse into the lives of people at the time.

Inside the exhibition, there are ample texts and prompts for using the audioguides.

The decoration on the vessel on the right above was unusual in that it had clay on its shoulder and included a striding horned animal with a bird above it. Also, a paw appears on the rim.

Objects were on view in cases as well as secondary wall displays.

In addition to this cache of stones, we saw iron arrowheads (or points) and flint sling-stones. These give compelling evidence of a catastrophic battle that took place in the area of Lachish.
The fascinating scale with stone weights.

In addition, we saw ceramic rattles, pottery figurine of a female drummer (that I thought looked like a tambourine player), leather sandals, combs, ossuraries, and textiles.

Relaxing at the end of the afternoon before the bus's departure.

If you're interested in visual and material culture of the ancient world, and are a fan of archaeology, this exhibition is well worth the ticket.

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