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Israel Museum archaeology wing

Set in the heart of Jerusalem, the Israel Museum is the nation’s leading cultural institution, housing the world’s most extensive collection of Biblical and Holy Land artifacts. The museum is especially famous for showcasing the Dead Sea Scrolls. It also boasts a unique sculpture garden, a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem from the period of the Second Temple, and an art collection including European, contemporary, and Asian prints and other genres. Its rich exhibits cover many topics, yet most significant are its Biblical archaeology and Jewish art and life wings.

History of the Israel Museum

Established in 1965 in Givat Ram, Jerusalem, the Israel Museum is devoted to preserving and presenting Israel’s cultural heritage. The chosen design is seemingly unordered square-shaped galleries combining elements of the contemporaneous trend of exposed cement. The Museum’s extensive collections span archaeology, fine arts, a sculpture garden, and Judaica.  An independent wing called the Shrine of the Book is designed specifically for the display of Israel’s most famous archaeological find – the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 2010, the museum completed a comprehensive renovation of its premises. At the cost of USD 100M, its main wings and main entrance were remodeled and enlarged. Moreover, the museum added a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem in the first century CE in the sculpture garden.

Christianity in the Israel Museum

The Israel Museum exhibits some of the most significant finds related to early Christianity. The Dead Sea Scrolls, presented in the Shrine of the book, reflect a community whose social structure is very similar to that of the early Christians documented in the Book of Acts. Furthermore, many scholars believe John the Baptist was a member of the people who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. Next to it is a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem in the first century AD. Among others, it presents sites mentioned in the New Testament such as the Pool of Siloam, Bethesda pools, Jesus’ trial site, his execution site, and more.

crucified-jehohanan-son-of-hagkolMoreover, the museum’s archaeological wing displays additional  significant items relating to Christianity.  The first is the bone box of Caiaphas, the High priest who interrogated Jesus; the Second is a Latin Inscription mentioning Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who condemned Jesus to death. The third is the pierced leg of the Crucified man from Jerusalem. Found in 1968, it is the first ever archaeological evidence of crucifixion in Roman times.

Danny “the Digger” Herman presenting the highlights of the Israel Museum on “The Watchman” show –

A tour of the Israel Museum can be integrated into day tour of Jerusalem.

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