Dead Sea Scrolls on display in Denver

For those who are not able to travel to the the Middle East, living in the United States of America, there may be their chance to see a selection of Dead Sea Scrolls which are on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in Denver, Colorado, from March 16 to September 3, 2018.

Perhaps the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century, the Dead Sea Scrolls represent the earliest extant copies of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). In addition to Biblical texts, the scrolls contain numerous texts, such as the War Scroll (Scroll 1QM), penned by a sectarian community. Many scholars attribute the scrolls — written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek — to the Essenes, a branch of Jews who adhered to an ascetic lifestyle.

dead sea scroll lu4 frame 38040 Ancient Manuscripts, Artifacts On Display In Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit

The regional premiere of the exhibition that has captivated millions around the world is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years.
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Fragments of the Covenant of Damascus, including this one (4Q271, fragment 3), were discovered in the Qumran caves. The Covenant of Damascus presents the views of a Second Temple period Jewish sect that fled from Judea. Thanks in part to Hershel Shanks’s three-year campaign to free the Dead Sea Scrolls, the scrolls are today available in high definition images — infrared and full spectrum color — for free on the internet for anyone to view. Shanks had an influential role within the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Photo: Shai Halevi, Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The Dead Sea Scrolls represent one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

 The experience features an exhibit about the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with an actual three-ton stone from the wall that fell in 70 CE. Guests may leave notes with hopes, prayers, and dreams that
will be sent to Israel. The tradition of putting notes between the stones began centuries ago.

Bedouin first came across the scrolls in caves near the site of Qumran, less than a mile west of the Dead Sea, in 1947 (or a little earlier). An archaeological excavation of the caves followed two years later — with several expeditions between 1949 and 1956. In all, fragments of 972 separate scrolls were uncovered.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Photo: Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority.

At the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Denver, full English translations accompany the scrolls. Two scrolls, one on the rules of ritual purity (Scroll 4Q274) and one describing instructions for moral conduct (Scroll 4Q418), are making their public appearance for the first time ever.

Because of strict preservation requirements, the scrolls will be switched out halfway through the run of the exhibition. Ten new scrolls will arrive to replace the initial scrolls, so you can see a total of 20 scrolls while the exhibition is in Denver.

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Israel Antiquities Authority conservator Tatiana Treiger holding a fragment of Scroll 4Q274. Photo: Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Additionally, a variety of artifacts from the ancient Near East — spanning more than a millennium (c. 1200 B.C.E.–70 C.E.) — are on display. They will immerse guests in historic traditions and beliefs that continue to impact world cultures today. The objects include inscriptions, seals, weapons, stone carvings, terracotta figurines, coins, shoes, textiles, mosaics, ceramics, and jewellery, as well as a 3-ton stone from the Western Wall, which was once part of the Temple Mount’s platform built by King Herod the Great.

At the beginning of the exhibition, a timeline filled with authentic ancient objects takes you back in time more than 3,000 years to the events written about in the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament.
Archaeologists refer to this as the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE). The exhibition also includes a replica of a typical Iron Age four-room Israelite house.
Turning a corner, you move forward in time again. Two long displays of authentic objects speak to life and beliefs in ancient times. The first traces the shift over time from scattered tribes to a cohesive nation.
The second is about the history of Jerusalem in the First Temple period (950–586 BCE), the destruction of the First Temple, and the exile of the Israelites by the Babylonians.
dead sea scroll lu4 frame 37740 Ancient Manuscripts, Artifacts On Display In Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit
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The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called the greatest manuscript find of all time. Visit the BAS Dead Sea Scrolls Page for dozens of articles on the scrolls’ significance, discovery and scholarship.
To learn more about the behind-the-scenes machinations that helped free the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as how the scrolls have become so accessible to the public today, read the full article “Hershel’s Crusade, No. 1: He Who Freed the Dead Sea Scrolls” by Martin Abegg, Jr., in the March/April May/June 2018 issue of BAR.
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3 thoughts on “Dead Sea Scrolls on display in Denver

  1. Pingback: A Book to trust #10 Archaeology confirming or denying claims of the Bible #1 Old Testament – Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

  2. Pingback: A Book to trust #23 Comparing Ancient Biblical Manuscripts – Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

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