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.

New York City Prepares for Gigantic New Year’s Eve Party

Time's Square New Year's Eve

Time's Square New Year's Eve

Written by: Anatole Ashraf

 

New York City is expected to host an estimated one million people in Times Square on the New Year’s Eve ball drop for the biggest party night of the year. Record-breaking numbers of crowds are anticipated to gather for a star-studded lineup for entertainers, including Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

The party—which officially starts at 3 p.m.—will mark the culmination of days of police preparation. In an interview with NY1, Police Commissioner Ray Kelley detailed the process of securing the Times Square area.

“The manholes have all been sealed, the mailboxes have been removed, observation posts have been at least established or identified as the ones that are gonna be occupied, there’ll be several thousand police officers, not only here, but there are other events as well that are going on at the same time,” Kelley said.

As part of the heightened security measures, police officers will be barricading off the area from 41st to 58th Streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. Visitors are warned not to bring any alcohol, large bags or backpacks. Anyone who leaves their spot for any reason will not be allowed back in after 3 p.m.

Most visitors are expected to be tourists. According to a NY1 poll, 97 percent of New Yorkers admitted to not being interested in attending the Times Square celebration. To accommodate local and native New Yorkers, many restaurants and clubs are offering memorable experiences.

Some of the finest restaurants in the city such as Daniel and Per Se are offering New Year’s Eve packages. On his blog the Price Hike, food critic Ryan Sutton has compiled a list of the “Real Cost of New Year’s Eve Dining,” which tracks the often-inflated cost of New Year’s Eve meals after tax and tip for two. Per Se, for example, $1,633 after tax and tip for New Year’s Eve, while regularly a meal will cost $642 for two. Sutton called these markups “an intangible emotional play: you’re paying more because you and your significant other don’t want to be alone when the clock strikes midnight.”

For a more affordable celebration, various bars and restaurants are offering events with no cover charge. The popular Brooklyn destination Huckleberry Bar, for example, is hosting a masquerade ball with free hors d’oeuvres and complimentary champagne toasts at midnight.

Ultimately, celebration options are plenty and varied for almost all New Yorkers and tourists on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Enjoy New Year’s Eve in Times Square without Standing for Hours

Written by: Tamar Auber

1 Times Square on New Year's Eve showing 2012 sign

1 Times Square on New Year's Eve morning before crowds arrive

Every New Year’s Eve, over a million revelers gather into Times Square to watch the iconic ball drop. Wish you could be one of the packed masses counting down in the crossroads of the world next year? If long waits, fickle weather and massive throngs are not your cup of tea, you can still join in the festivities of one of the biggest New Year’s parties on the planet in 2013.

For New Year’s 2012, the audience holding pens opened up at 3 pm EST, meaning the persons closest to the action waited nearly nine hours, without access to a bathroom, to watch the ball take its plunge. Yet savvy New Yorker’s gathered much earlier, noon on December 30th, to be exact, to watch the crystal ball make its practice run. While it lacked the atmosphere of New Year’s Eve, the practice run drop is still quite an impressive site and required none of the unpleasant waiting or holding pens that greet the intrepid  million on New Year’s Eve.

In fact, ball crazy tourists, have a number of ways to see the New Year’s ball. The Times Square Visitor Center offers an exhibit featuring the history of Times Square New Year’s and a replica ball, allowing a close-up viewing. The Walgreen’s at 1 Times Square where the ball makes its descent also offers a picture with the Times Square ball in the days around New Year’s.

Another way to experience Times Square is to come early, the morning of New Year’s Eve, to mill about the crowds and explore the bright lights and New Year’s displays readied for the evenings festivities. This year’s early birds were treated to product samples, hats and a good view of the 2012 sign atop 1 Times Square. An alternative is to show up on New Year’s Day, when the year sign will be aglow and most revelers will still be in bed after their long night.

Finally, if you have your heart set on being in Times Square when the clock strikes midnight, consider forking out the cash for a restaurant seat. While pricy, restaurants offer a chance to bypass the crowds, relax in the hours before the big event. Then just as midnight is about to strike, you can step out into the electric atmosphere of Times Square to watch the show and confetti drop.

Whether or not you brave the weather and the holding pens to see the ball drop live  or celebrate New Year’s  in Times Square in your own way, the excitement of  Times Square at New Year’s is a bucket list experience not to be missed.