Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit in Times Square Features Largest Collection of Biblical Artifacts

Discovery Time Square's Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times

Written By: Catherine Wolinski

Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times, an archaeological exhibit that opened in New York last October, continues to impress and educate those curious about the physical beginnings of Judaism and Christianity.  Located in Discovery Times Square at 226 W. 44th St., the collection boasts the largest collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever collected.

“The exhibition brings to life a fascinating period in history and vividly highlights how archaeologists and researchers piece together the past by examining and interpreting objects from daily life and ancient written documents,” says the exhibitions curator, Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn.

A piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls

A piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls

The main feature of the exhibition, the Dead Sea Scrolls, is an assembly of ancient religious texts found in the Holy Land, extracted from collections of the Israel National Treasures.  Penned 2,000 years ago and hidden when Roman forces advanced upon Jerusalem in 70 CE, the scrolls were first found in the caves of Qumran in Israel in 1947. Now on display in New York City, the 20 scrolls (displayed 10 at a time) include four making their first public appearance.

Among the newly discovered pieces of the past are the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible, including pieces from the books of Psalms, Isaiah, and Deuteronomy.  Additionally, they are accompanied by an authentic three-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, believed to have fallen from the Southwest corner of the Second Temple’s outer wall during the Roman invasion. Also on display are Biblical artifacts, including remains of religious items, war weapons, stone carvings, mosaics, and everyday household accessories.

“The pots, coins, weapons, jewelry, and of course, the scrolls on display in this exhibition constitute a momentous contribution to our cultural legacy,” Dr. Kohn continued.  “They teach us about the past and also about ourselves.”

a collection of pottery

An example of the pottery displayed among 500 Biblical artifacts

The first in New York City of its size, Discovery Times Square is an exhibition center that presents educational and immersive explorations of culture and history.  Previously renowned for exhibits such as Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Workshop, King Tut, Pompeii The Exhibit, and Harry Potter: The Exhibition, the center’s current exhibit lives up to expectations in its size and scope with over 500 artifacts from the Holy Land. Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times chronicles the Biblical to the Byzantine periods, offering a physical timeline of the formation of Judaism and Christianity.

The exhibition, created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), will run at Discovery Times Square until April 15, 2012.

Shepard Fairey Wants to Paste his Next Exhibition to the Sides of New York Buildings

Shepard Fairey and his famed Obama portrait

Today, Shepard Fairey, the once co-founder of BLK/MRKT Inc. (1997-2003) – which worked with high-brow clients like Pepsi, Hasbro, and Netscape – is so popular from his HOPE portrait of Barack Obama that he’s walking door to door at Deitch Projects in New York, searching for building owners that will premiss him to use their exterior wall-space for his exhibition this May.

This is a new relatively new concept to this contemporary artist, who admits to being arrested, getting locked up overnight, and a sentencing of two years probation for his past (illicitly performed) building pastings, which he accomplished long before a retrospective at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Boston

And, while many aren’t too keen on the artist’s vision, he tries his best to offer the building owners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to the enhancement of the urban landscape, and to experience art as a part of the current OBEY phenomenon. Even though the over-sized stickers could remain for years to come, several cities have already granted the urban artist permission to paste in Boston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Now, as May rolls around the corner, millions of Shepard Fairey fans are hoping to see the newest exhibition of modern-day artistic talent.

Perhaps Fairey should bring Obama for some assistance; after all, he did get a lot out of the famed portrait.