Israel Museum Exhibits

This page attempts to enlist all the exhibits, artefacts currently housed at the Israel Museum.

circa 870–750 BCE

House of David Stele or the Tel Dan Stele is a broken stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993–94 during excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel. It consists of several fragments making up part of a triumphal inscription in Aramaic, left most probably by Hazael of Aram-Damascus, an important regional figure in the late 9th century BCE. It is considered the earliest widely accepted reference to the name David as the founder of a Judahite polity outside of the Hebrew Bible.

circa 100 CE

The Jerusalem Inscription or the Hananiah son of Dodalos of Yerushalayim Inscription [the way the ancient Jewish city is written in Hebrew today] was discovered during a salvage excavation earlier this year of a large Hasmonean Period Jewish artisans’ village near what is today’s western entrance to the city. There is a disagreement among experts as to whether the word “Yerushalayim” was etched in Aramaic or Hebrew. While bar is the Aramaic word for “son,” the Aramaic pronunciation of Jerusalem was “Yerushalem,” whereas the word in the inscription was written “Yerushalayim,” just like in Hebrew.

circa 10 CE

The model of Jerusalem as it would have looked like in Jesus's time, with the Second Temple or Beit HaMikdash in foreground. The model recreates Jerusalem in year 66 CE, the same year the revolt against the Romans erupted, resulting in the destruction of Temple and the city. The ancient city was then at it's largest, covering an area of ca. 445 acres, thus the model reflects ancient Jerusalem at its peak, just before the city was destroyed.

circa 30 CE

The Pilate stone carved out of limestone with a partially intact inscription attributed to, and mentioning, Pontius Pilate, a prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from CE 26 to 36. Original inscription stone bearing the name of located at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The partially damaged block is a dedication to the deified Augustus and Livia ("the Divine Augusti"), the stepfather and mother of emperor Tiberius, originally placed within a Tiberieum, probably a temple dedicated to Tiberius.

circa 900 BCE

A unique statue head was discovered in 2017 in a fortress at the summit of Tel Abel Beth Maacah, in northern Israel. Found on the border of three different ancient kingdoms, it is speculated that whether it depicts King Ahab of Israel, King Hazael of Aram Damascus, or King Ithobaal of Tyre, rulers known from the Bible and other sources.

circa 900 BCE

The rich artistic tradition of the Jewish community of Aleppo is notable in its ceremonial objects which were donated by the members of the community to the synagogue to mark special occasions in their lives. The objects include Torah cases, crowns, elaborate silver finials, and oval plaques with dedicatory inscriptions. Similar plaques were also attached to the curtains (parokhot) in front of the Torah shrines. The inscriptions are fascinating historical documents, which reveal the personal stories of members of the community and enable us to reconstruct some of the long-forgotten details of Apeppine Jewish life.

circa

The part of the laconicum (hot dry room) next to the calderium of the Roman bath house that was found at Lower Herodium. The installation shows all the components: the hypocaust, the underfloor heating system where the floor is supported by stone pillars (pilae stacks) and the clay tubes in the walls to let the heat pass through; the plasterwork and fresco paintings on the wall; the mosaic floor.

circa

The Trumpeting Place inscription is an inscribed stone from the 1st century CE discovered in 1968 by Benjamin Mazar in his early excavations of the southern wall of the Temple Mount. The stone, showing just two complete words written in the Square Hebrew alphabet, was carved above a wide depression cut into the inner face of the stone.

circa

The reconstructed bema of the ancient Susiya (Susya) synagogue at the Israel Museum. The excavated Jewish synagogue in Susiya dates from the 4th to the 7th century CE and was in continuous use until the 9th century CE. The magnificent synagogue of Susiya in the southern Hebron hills stood for hundreds of years and underwent many renovations. Its bema (podium) was built next to the long northern wall, which featured three arched niches.

circa

Statue of a seated god (left), from Tel Hazor, depicts one of the major Canaanite gods, either El, head of the pantheon, or Baal respnsible for fertility and growth. The god's divine status is depicted by his tall headdress. Decorated in relief with a tree of life and flanked by two horned animals. Statue of an enthroned king wearing a broad-hemmed cloak found at Tel Hazor. Dating back to 13th-15th century BCE it is made out of bronze, gold and steatite.

circa

The Aleppo Codex (Hebrew: כֶּתֶר אֲרָם צוֹבָא‎ Keter Aram Tzova or Crown of Aleppo) is a medieval bound manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. The codex was written in the city of Tiberias, in what is currently northern Israel, in the 10th century CE, and was endorsed for its accuracy by Maimonides. Together with the Leningrad Codex, it contains the Ben-Asher masoretic tradition, but the Aleppo Codex lacks most of the Torah section and many other parts.

circa

A replica of Holy of Holies from the Tel Arad Temple. In the holy of holies of this temple two incense altars and a "standing stone" were found (illustration), probably having been dedicated to Yahweh. The finds of an Israelite temple and altar, the Holy of Holies, is something extremely rare as most of these altars were destroyed when it was decided to concentrate the cult to the Almighty in Jerusalem. Located in a small chamber on the west side of the altar, accessed by three steps. Two incense altars flanking the entrance, and two standing stones are on its rear side. A small Bamah (stage, or high place) is located on the rear side.

circa

The "Cesearea Sarcophagus", dating back to the third century CE, was discovered in fragmentary form in 1958 CE. Only the lower part of the sarcophagus remains. Its base is moulded. The long side (pictured) is ornamented with dentils and floral patterns; the short side bears floral patterns only. The moulded base is unornamented on one short side, and one long side. Satyrs and maenads are represented on the facade of the sarcophagus, as well as the erotes holding animals and a basket full of grapes. Vine shoots and grae clusters are carved between the firgures. The feet of a pather appear in the centre.

circa

Genesis Scroll also known as the Genesis Apocryphon, it is one of the seven scrolls discovered in 1947 in a cave near Qumran, on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea. Dating to the late first century BCE, this fragile scroll is the only existing copy of this manuscript. Its text is a reworking of Genesis 6–15, and the section on display retells the biblical account of Noah’s sacrifices.

circa

South of Gaza city, at Deir el-Balah, some fifty pottery sarcophagi were unearthed from a large, ancient cemetery. Located near the sea, the site had been protected from plunder by massive sand dunes. The sarcophagi were fashioned by hand, using the coil technique, the method employed for creating large vessels. They were then fired with their lids in an open fire. The lids were later refired in kilns located nearby, which accounts for their darker color. Similar cemeteries have been discovered near the Nile Delta.

circa 100 BCE

The identification of the Qumran roundel as a sundial was based on a publication of the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, where most of the intact Dead Sea Scrolls are kept. This supposed sun dial was found at the same time as the ancient scrolls and at first archaeologists thought it was a simply a stone disc. It was locked away in a vault until recently being rediscovered where it was found to be a sun dial. Although previus time-keeping methods and charts were found at the Qumran site, the discovery of this small sundial provides further evidence of the Qumran interest in the measurement of time.

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