Ancient Treasures of the Holy Land exhibit is millenniums in the making.
Yes, there really is a time machine ensconced in the Embarcadero Building. Turn a single corner and you’ll be transported back more than 4,000 years to the cradle of several of the world’s greatest religions, leaving Fair Park far behind. Enter Ancient Treasures of the Holy Land, the largest collection of Biblical era antiquities ever presented outside the Middle East.
Running through July 28, the many treasures in the 22,000-square-foot Holy Land multimedia exhibit date back to the time of Abraham and up to the Jerusalem of Jesus. For the first time, you can come face-to-face with more than 350 major early artifacts including two never-before-seen fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls from about 68 B.C. According to Dennis Malone, Executive Director and General Manager of the exhibit, “The text of the Deuteronomy 8:2-5 fragment is what Jesus referenced when he said, “Man shall not live by bread alone.”
There are also such remarkably preserved pieces as:
- Inscriptions from Abraham’s home, the city of Ur
- Fragments of wall decorations from the Ivory Palace of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel
- Ancient weapons dating back to the Bronze Age
See the ossuary of one of history’s greatest figures.
Perhaps most intriguing is the ossuary (or bone box) thought by archaeologists to hold the bones of Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross of Jesus, and his son Alexander, who was also mentioned in the New Testament account of the Crucifixion.
“The breadth of artifacts—covering the lifestyle of various peoples in the early ages of Civilization—is exceptional,” says Mr. Malone. “Just the chance to glimpse rare artifacts like the Simon of Cyrene ossuary is certainly important for Christians, Jews, Muslims and others. The thousands of people who have already viewed the exhibit in other cities were awed to see such pieces firsthand. They’ve gone home appreciating the Bible more in their own lives.”
Rhythms of such ancient instruments as the oud (stringed instrument), ney (predecessor of the flute) and darbuka (drum) play as your journey begins. Slip on a pair of headphones and listen to the story of an archeologist and his granddaughter that will captivate both adults and children. Travel from the pottery and weapons of Canaan (4,000 years ago), past the Egyptian breastplates of the first millennium, through the Bronze Age (1,500 B.C.), Iron Age (1,200 B.C.), Sumerian cuneiform tablets from about 6th century BC and onward toward the Roman Empire (1st century B.C.). Marvel at the coins of Pontius Pilate, Greek pottery, menorahs of the Maccabees and sandals from the great Jewish revolt at Masada (72 AD).
Enjoy a “first century” meal.
The entire experience is made more dramatic with some unique elements, according to Mr. Malone. “There are detailed silkscreens throughout that reproduce the metal Bible story engravings of 18th century master Gustaf Doré. Life-size figures further immerse you in the past. Your journey concludes with a stunning 3-D movie.” Don’t forget to stop in the Bazaar area, which resembles a Middle Eastern shuk (open air market). Here, you can enjoy a “first century” lunch or dinner meal. Children will love the archaeological dig pit, arts and crafts area, and Middle Eastern food tasting.
Ancient Treasures of the Holy Land took more than 10 years to become a reality. It comes direct from Israel…a joint effort between Gila Hurvitz, curator of the Hebrew University Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem on Mt. Scopus; Dr. Stephen Pfann, president and founder of the University of the Holy Land; and Cary Summers, CEO of the Way Makers, an organization that is the exhibit’s U.S. operating arm.
“Not everyone can go to the Holy Land, so we have brought it to Fair Park in an unforgettable way that is educational, cultural and historical,” states Steven Flores, Sales and Event Manager for Fair Park. “We encourage families, church groups, schools, clergy and history lovers of all religions and backgrounds to fully experience Ancient Treasures of the Holy Land for themselves.”
For more information on this must-see event, open 7 days a week, visit Ancient Treasures of the Holy Land website.