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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’

Oldest Set of 10 Commandments Showing in Israel

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Israel’s national museum has opened a rare exhibit that includes the world’s oldest copy of the Ten Commandments.

The exhibit presents objects from “pivotal moments in civilization.” Among the items is a 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scroll in which is inscribed a complete copy of the Ten Commandments.

This particular manuscript has never before been shown in Israel, and was only displayed briefly abroad.

The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise a collection of ancient Biblical manuscripts – some in fragments – discovered in a cave along the northern shores of the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea Scrolls Hi-Tech Preserves Israeli Declaration of Independence

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The Declaration of Independence was removed from the facility where it is stored in a rare event Tuesday so it could be photographed using an innovative technique developed for photographing the Dead Sea scroll.

The procedure, a joint initiative of the Israel State Archives and Israel Antiquities Authority, was carried out to recreate the document’s original appearance for future generations.

The Declaration of Independence is stored in a special environment meant to ensure its preservation. The document, one of the country’s most important cultural assets, proclaims the establishment of the State of Israel and defines its character.

The scroll is 117 cm long and 29.7 cm wide. It is made in three parts, and bound on the side with an interwoven thread and a wax seal.

It was photographed in the LunderDead Sea Scrolls Conservation Laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority, using innovative technology developed especially for the Dead Sea scrolls.

An advanced multi-spectral photographic system allows for photographing the document with different exposures at a number of wavelengths – from the visible region to the near infrared region of the spectrum. The advanced photography will provide information regarding the texture of the material from which the scroll is made, its ink and its surface.

The combination of exposures in the visible range will provide a high quality and exact color photograph identical to the Declaration of Independence, while exposures in the near infrared region will allow reading written characters appearing on the document which have faded over time. With this innovative system a precise and clear copy of the Declaration of Independence was created, as it was when originally signed, prior to the ravages of time that are now visible on it.

Dr. Mordechai Naor, a writer and researcher of the history of Israel described in his recently published book “Great Friday” the ceremony proclaiming the state and the preparation of the Declaration of Independence.

He presented both well-known and little-known details about the scroll, the writing of which was not completed until the time of the historic ceremony, and the problems that arose during the signing.

He wrote, “Because the ceremony was held in Tel Aviv, some of the signatories were unable to arrive because Jerusalem was under siege, and they signed the scroll only a month later, in ‘spaces’ that were left them specifically for this purpose….

“Because the guest lists have not been found to this day, it is not known exactly who the 300 individuals were that were invited to the ceremony proclaiming the state. One person that was almost not allowed to enter was the designated Minister of Justice Pinchas Rosenblüth (Rosen) who forgot to bring his invitation. It was only after Ze’ev Sherf, Secretary of the Situation Committee, intervened was he permitted to enter and thus was also able to sign the Declaration of Independence.”

The Declaration of Independence is the first document reflecting Jewish sovereignty since the time of the Hashmonean kingdom, and it is probably the first document that reflects a desire for sovereignty achieved by a democratic consensus.

The scroll was read as a proclamation of independence, on Friday, the 5th day of Ayar, 5708 (May 14, 1948) in the Tel Aviv Museum then located at 16 Rothschild Street, in the house of the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. Twenty-five members of the Provisional State Council signed the declaration and twelve others who were in besieged Jerusalem signed it later.

New App Puts Dead Scrolls on iPhone and iPad

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The Dead Sea Scrolls are now available on iPhone and iPad, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Thursday with the launch of its first App featuring archaeology games and puzzles for kids.

Genesis 1:1 (the account of creation), the Ten Commandments, Psalms, and 11 other 2,000 year old manuscripts are featured in the ”Dig Quest” App that introduces kids ages 7-11 to archaeology with a suite of unique games, featuring beautiful artifacts from the National Treasures of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The App transforms a kid’s iPhone or iPad into an archaeological tool and lets them play games to hone their skills, discover secret meanings, solve puzzles, and piece the past together like true archaeologists. Along the way, they unlock ancient artifacts and create their own personal collection.

The games were developed in collaboration with the IAA’s team of archaeologists and researchers. As the children play, they get a feel for what archaeologists do as they experience the excitement of discovery and the creativity and skills involved in solving mysteries from the distant past.

Players select between two dig sites, each of which has a unique game that puts the player in the driver’s seat and requires using different archaeological skills.

At Lod, you clear the dirt to uncover an ancient Roman period mosaic and then play a fast-paced quiz-style game using your smarts and powers of observation to identify and classify the animals and objects on the mosaic.

In the Qumran caves, you discover fragments of the 2,000 year-old Dead Sea Scrolls that you piece together in a puzzle game. Then you scan the scrolls to reveal their text more clearly, mirroring the advanced spectral imaging process performed by the IAA team in the laboratories.

Dig Quest Israel Dead Sea Scroll Cave No Banner iPad-001

Each site features Discoveries for the user to uncover that tell more about the story of the excavation and the artifacts that are found. Artifacts and discoveries can be collected in a “Collection box.”

The game features:

  • More than 30 levels in two unique games based on two world-famous archaeological discoveries;
  • More than 50 images of historical treasures;
  • Historical and archaeological facts and artifacts;
  • Translated and spoken excerpts from the Dead Sea Scrolls;
  • A Collection box where players store artifacts and discoveries;
  • An archaeologist character host, Gabe, inspired by real IAA archaeologists;

The App is launching with two games, and additional games are planned as well as an Android release.

It can be downloaded the from the App Store .

New Texts Found in ‘Dead Sea Scroll’ Caves

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

A major archaeology “discovery” of previously found but unexamined Dead Sea Scrolls has revealed nine new Biblical era documents, the Live Science and Absa Mediterranean website have reported.

Archaeologist Yonatan Adler said, “‘It’s not every day that you get the chance to discover new manuscripts. It’s very exciting.”

The documents have not yet been fully examined and it is not known, so far, what is written in the texts, which were sitting in three tefillin cases that were among the Scrolls pulled out of 11 Qumran caves in the Dead Sea area in the 1950s.

Adler announced his findings at an international conference in Switzerland on Qumran and the Dead Sea region.

The texts that he found in the tefillin cases may shed more light on religious observance in the period of the Second Temple, but they are unlikely to expose major texts such as were found in the Dead Scrolls that already have been examined.

Other tefillin parchments previously have been examined, and the nine newly-found texts, if they can be deciphered, probably will confirm previous findings and the content of several verses of the Torah are written on parchments in tefillin worn by Jews around the world.

Researchers Find Ancient Fabrics in Colors Noted in Jewish Sources

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Centuries-old fabrics identified by Israel Antiquities Authority researchers include one that may have been made by means of a technique similar to making the tekhelet (blue)in tzitzit, the fringes that the Bible commands be worn on four-cornered garments.

To date, only two pieces of fabric treated with actual dye-murex have been found in Israel

The fabrics identified by Dr. Na‘ama Sukenik represent the most prestigious colors in antiquity – indigo, purple and crimson, – that are mentioned in Jewish sources

Thousands of fabrics dating to the Roman period have been discovered in the Judean Desert and regions of the Negev and the Arava. So far only two were colored with dye extracted from the murex snail. Now, within the framework of a study conducted by Dr. Sukenik, three other rare fabrics belonging to pieces of prestigious textiles were exposed that might have been used as clothing in the Roman period.

Dr. Sukenik’s doctoral dissertation was supervised by Professor Zohar Amar and Dr. David Illuz of Bar-Ilan University, and the textiles were examined by Dr. Orit Shamir, Curator of Organic Materials at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

These prestigious textiles, from the Wadi Murabba‘at caves located south of Qumran, were revealed in a study that analyzed the dye of 180 textiles specimens from the Judean Desert caves. Among the many textiles, most of which were dyed using substances derived from plants, were two purple-bordeaux colored textiles – parts of tunics that were double dyed utilizing two of the most expensive materials in antiquity – Murex trunculus (Hexaplex trunculus) and American Cochineal insect .

Photo: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Photo: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

A third textile, made of wool, indicating the thread fibers were dyed by exposing them to sunlight or heated after having been dyed, represent another use of the murex snail for achieving a shade of blue, and it is possible that the item in question is an indigo fabric made by means of a technique similar to making the tekhelet (blue)in a tzitzit.

The importance of this fabric is extremely significant as there are practically no parallels for it in the archaeological record.

Dr. Sukenik, assisted by Dr. Alexander Varvak, examined the colors using advanced analytical instrumentation for identifying dye substances (HPLC).

The testing of the fabrics, performed by Dr. Orit Shamir of the Israel Antiquities Authority, revealed that the two purple textiles were spinning in a unique manner characteristic of imported textiles, whereas the blue textile was spinning in the same fashion as the local textiles.

Of all of the dyes that were in use, purple is considered the most prestigious color of the earlier periods, but it seems the public’s fondness for this reached its peak in the Hellenistic-Roman period. The purple dyed fabrics attested to the prestige of the garment and the social status of its owner.

There were times when the masses were forbidden from dressing in purple clothing, which was reserved for only the emperor and his family. These measures only served to increase the popularity of that color, the price of which soared and was equal to that of gold.

It is difficult to know for certain how such prestigious fabrics came to be in the Murabba‘at caves. They might have been part of the property belonging to Jewish refugees from the time of the Bar-Kokhba revolt and demonstrate their economic prosperity prior to the outbreak of the uprising.

Another possibility is that they were part of the possessions of a small Roman unit, which on the basis of the artifacts was stationed in the Murabba‘at caves following the Bar Kokhba revolt.  It is likely these same soldiers brought some of their belongings from overseas to Israel and others they purchased from the local Jewish population during their service in the country.

Google Cultural Institute Presents Jewish Content in 1st Exhibits

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Google introduced a new online historical collection of digitized material, highlighting several Jewish themes, events and institutional partners in its first wave of exhibits.

At least 13 of the Google Cultural Institute’s inaugural collection of 42 featured exhibits consist of materials from the Anne Frank House, the Polish History Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Foundation France Israel and Yad Vashem.

Highlighted exhibits announced Wednesday include the testimony of Jan Karski, the World War II Polish resistance hero who tried to convince Allied leaders of the horrors of the Holocaust; as well as the saga of Edek Galinski & Mala Zimetbaum, the couple who unsuccessfully attempted to escape Auschwitz.

Visitors to Google’s new online multimedia museum can also see the last known photograph taken of Anne Frank, and browse featured historical events that include the Nuremberg Trials, the 1948 Arab-Israel War and the 1958 bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation in Atlanta.

The new resource comes one year after Google published the Dead Sea Scrolls online, the result of a partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Dead Sea Scrolls on Display in Philadelphia

Monday, May 14th, 2012

On Saturday, the Franklin Institute will launch its exhibition “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times.”

The collection consists of more than 600 figurines, altars, coins, pottery, menorahs, bone boxes, and incense burners, and a giant stone from the Wailing Wall. The exhibition was created in cooperation with the Israeli Antiquities Authority, the Discovery Museum, and the Franklin Institute. It will be open seven days a week through mid-October.

The heart of the exhibit is the large, round display table of 10 Dead Sea scroll fragments, the jewel of which is a small parchment with the oldest surviving biblical account of creation: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. …”

Visitors first walk into a “pre-exhibition experience” in a room lined with six giant screens showing the Dead Sea at sunrise.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dead-sea-scrolls-on-display-in-philadelphia/2012/05/14/

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