Beginning Nov. 16, the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times will be at Cincinnati Museum Center. It features the most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized, including one of the largest collections of the priceless 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in North America. It was created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) from collections of the Israel National Treasures and produced by Discovery Times Square and The Franklin Institute. Local community partners include The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Diocese of Southern Ohio, SC Ministry Foundation, Office of the Provost - University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University.
“The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit allows our students and faculty a unique opportunity to integrate these historic texts into our course offerings,” says Rabbi Abie Ingber, Xavier representative to the exhibit’s program advisory committee. “Plans are being made throughout our campus for classes and student groups to visit the exhibit and experience the relevance of these historic Biblical texts.”
The Scrolls were discovered and unearthed in caves on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea from 1947-1956. Considered among the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the Scrolls contain the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible. Of the more than 600 objects from the Biblical to Byzantine Period in Israel, many objects are from recent archaeological excavations in Jerusalem and have never been exhibited publicly. Objects include remains of religious articles, fragments of the Scrolls, weapons of war, stone carvings, textiles and mosaics alongside everyday items such as jewelry and ceramics. In addition, the exhibition features a scale recreation of a section of Jerusalem’s Western Wall – with a real three-ton stone from the Wall in Israel.
Cincinnati’s unique part in the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be highlighted in the exhibition. Hebrew Union College and its former president (1947-71) Nelson Glueck played an important role in efforts to recover some of the scrolls from antiquities dealers, authenticate the scrolls, in early academic debate about the significance and dating of the scrolls and participation in scholarly efforts surrounding the scrolls.
Tickets are available from the Cincinnati Museum Center. Member adults are $15, member children ages 3-12 are $10, non-member adults are $23, non-member children are $15, and seniors ages 60 and over are $20.