As the Dead Sea vies for a spot as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, the biggest archeological discovery it yielded has settled into a temporary new home. Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times premiered at New York’s Discovery Times Square on October 28—the same venue that has housed other historic exhibitions like Titanic and King Tut. It marks the most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized in North America, including the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible and a scale recreation of part of the Western Wall. With a video feed broadcasting activity at Jerusalem’s iconic Temple Mount, it’s perhaps the closest experience to the religious pilgrimage as one can make without making the 5700+ mile journey.
For history enthusiasts, the exhibit is a must-see that showcases how the scrolls’ creation marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of monotheistic religion. Hundreds of artifacts—some being shown publicly here for the first time—are organized to paint a picture of life in ancient Israel, and chronicle the cultural shift surrounding the emergence of modern-day Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Says exhibition curator Dr. Rise Levitt Kohn, “The pots, coins, weapons, jewelry, and of course, the scrolls on display constitute a momentous contribution to our cultural legacy. They teach us about the past and also about ourselves.”
Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times will run through April 15, 2012 at Discovery Times Square (226 West 44th Street), after which it will travel to Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute for a five-month run. Tickets are $25.00 for adults, $19.50 for children ages 4-12, and $22.50 for seniors.
To vote for the Dead Sea as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, visit www.votedeadsea.com before November 11, 2011.
Nikki Goldstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure.