Museum of Science staff to outline scrolls openings

Brandeis students eligible for interpreter and internship positions

Photo/Ken and Nyetta

Opportunities for students to work on the upcoming "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times" exhibition at the Museum of Science in Boston will be outlined in an information session with representatives of the museum on Wednesday, March 6.

The meeting will be held in Alumni Lounge, Usdan Student Center, from noon to 1:30 p.m., and is open only to Brandeis affiliates.

The university is partnering with the museum on the exhibition, which will run from May 19 to Oct. 14. Brandeis students -- including undergraduates, graduate students and participants in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis (BOLLI) -- are eligible for volunteer interpreter and internship positions. At this week’s meeting, museum representatives will discuss these positions, applications and selections processes, and the time commitment and training required.

The scrolls are one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century -- ancient handwritten texts that have shaped the Western world, including the earliest Biblical texts ever found.

The centerpiece of the exhibition will be two sets of 10 fragments each from the Dead Sea Scrolls collection, some of which have never before been exhibited. Each set will be on display for about three months. The scrolls will be dramatically presented within a 25-foot-diameter communal scroll table with 10 individual chambers, one for each scroll, along with the full English translation, a large high-resolution image and a detailed explanation of each scroll’s significance.

The exhibit encompasses one of the most comprehensive collections of Israeli antiquities ever organized, offering rare insight into daily life long ago with more than 600 objects, including a 3-ton stone from Jerusalem's Western Wall, where museum visitors may leave a note to be sent to Israel. In addition, visitors will be able to view a live satellite video feed from the Western Wall.

A replica of a four-room house will offer a glimpse of life at home, from meal preparation to sleeping quarters. Inscriptions and seals known as “bulla” provide invaluable information about the iconography and personal imagery of the period. Other artifacts add to the picture, including weapons, stone carvings, terracotta figurines, remains of religious symbols, coins, shoes, textiles, mosaics, ceramics and jewelry.

In addition to the exhibit, the museum will offer a number of hands-on activities, live presentations, and special programs complementary to the exhibit, and is partnering with Brandeis University to create related educational programs.

"Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times" was created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) from the collections of the Israel National Treasures and produced by Discovery Times Square and the Franklin Institute. The exhibition is curated by Professor Risa Levitt Kohn of San Diego State University and Debora Ben Ami, Iron Age collection curator at the IAA.

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