Saturday, December 09, 2006

New exhibit displays artifacts from Jewish Wars

I noticed a new exhibit has opened in Nashville that includes items from Masada. The exhibit was organized by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Archeology. It should be interesting although I would be a bit skeptical about its objectivity.

The A new exhibit that organizers are calling the largest collection of Holy Land antiquities to ever hit U.S. soil is now open at the Convention Center in downtown Nashville.
The "From Abraham to Jesus" exhibit features 340 artifacts, multimedia presentations of Bible stories and a re-creation of an ancient bazaar.

The exhibit of artifacts considered holy to both Jews and Christians is designed to show the linkage between the two faiths and to give people unlikely to visit Israel the chance to view them, said Cary Summers, CEO of Way Makers, the company that organized the exhibit.

"The vast majority of Americans will not get the opportunity to go to Israel," Summers said.

"We decided to get the key items to the United States."

Those key items include a child's leather sandal excavated in the 1950s from Masada, the site of a mass suicide by Jews in 70-72 AD to escape Roman conquest.

They also include an ossuary, or bone box, believed to have once held the remains of the son of Simone the Cyrene, the man who carried the cross for Jesus. And there are palm-size remnants of some of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls that have never before been exhibited in the United States, including a fragment containing the Hebrew inscription "Man cannot eat by bread alone, but by the words of God."

The 30,000-square-foot exhibit's artifacts, multimedia presentations and re-creations are intended to walk visitors through a tactile experience of 2,500 years of biblical history.

Visitors to the exhibit are guided, via headset, by an hour- and-a-half audio featuring the voices of a fictional archaeologist explaining the exhibition's significance to his granddaughter. At the end of the exhibit, visitors can put on 3-D glasses for a panoramic film shot in Israel.
At the end of the tour, there is a 5,000-square-foot bazaar, with merchandise for sale from Israel, including ceramics, hand-blown glass, food, paintings by Israeli artists, spices and shofars, or traditional Jewish horns, among other items.

Official site:
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