Aug 07

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August 7, 2000

“Eat dessert first!”

My first full day in country, spent at Dead Sea Scrolls sites with experts

Interior, Shrine of the Book.  This division of the Israel Museum is the primary showcase for the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The building’s design recalls the pottery jars in which scrolls were found in caves less than 20 miles east. Website: Shrine of the Book.  There are further links on that home page, including these highly-recommended favorites: an interactive tour of the facility, and an interactive tour of the model of Second Temple era Jerusalem.

Pacific Coast

In Country










10:00 PM

Day with Curator Dr. Adolfo Roitman & Education Dir. Michael Ingber at Shrine of the Book, Qumran ruins and caves, Second Temple Jerusalem model, and local archeological excavations.


8:00 AM




9:00 AM

Depart to Tel Aviv and the Renaissance Hotel


7:00 PM



[Transliterated to English, “.soriaK ehT levon s‘luaP yuB  Hebrew, naturally, is written right to left.]

Exterior, Shrine of the Book.  “From darkness to light” theme illustrated—a black wall contrasts with the white dome (“jar lid”) of the subterranean Shrine.

The caves above Qumran.  If a Bedouin boy in 1947 hadn’t thrown a rock into one and heard pottery break, the world might have been de­prived of these parchment treasures for another two thousand years.
A view of some excavated walls at Qumran.  Most scholars believe this was a community of devout Jews called Essenes who followed a Teacher of Righteous­ness in exile from established Temple leadership.  The theory is that they copied scriptures here and hid them in the caves as Roman legions threatened in ±66 AD.  Others theorize it was a wealthy man’s winter villa, or a military stronghold.


 √ For being just 2-minutes, this is a decent video review of The Shrine of the Book, Qumran, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

An interior view of one of the (normally) dark, dry caves that preserved animal-skin parchment scrolls for two thousand years.  Some of the Scrolls are a thousand years—fifty generations—older than the next closest source documents.  Most important finding: very few copying errors occurred in the texts handed down since.  Non-biblical scrolls shed light on life in the region from 200 BC to 67 AD.


Some of the excavations just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.


A 1:50 model of Second Temple Jerusalem (ca 66 AD).  Measuring 65 feet across, the highly detailed model was constructed of the same stone, copper, wood and other materials used at the time.  It is updated as archeological finds dictate.

Here are great pictures of the model at the Holyland Hotel

Or try here for a large selection of indexed photos of it.

Click here for Library of Congress Scrolls information.

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