The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel
Visitors to Jerusalem will soon not only be able to see the ancient artifacts but also the science behind their discovery. The Israel Antiquities Authority’s unique facility is adjacent to the Israel Museum, spreads across nearly nine acres and will give visitors a true glimpse of the history discovered throughout Israel.
The idea is to exhibit all the antiquities that were found in Israel, over the generations and also to research and to publish the findings.
Most of the 10-story building is hidden from view because the architects wanted it mostly in layers underground like an archaeological excavation. The public will enter from the the roof not the bottom and from the roof which is level zero will go level by level from one to -10. The enormous canopy like the shelter which covers the site represents an archaeological excavation.
At the dedication ceremony, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the facility and its timing for providing undeniable evidence of the Jewish people’s historical connection to their homeland.
The Museum’s goal is to present the beauty and story behind the ancient artifacts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are housed next door in the Israel Museum. They want to show meaning of the articles how they were made. Research work will be on full display and visitors will be able to zoom in for a closer look through cameras. They will be able see how challenging the work is even to try their hand at putting scroll fragments together at an interactive exhibit.
Although Israel is small just 22 000 square kilometers there is a great deal of field work going on, with about 300 excavations taking place countrywide every year. To date 30,000 archaeological sites have been declared, this means every square kilometer has more than one archaeological site. Israel is just one big archaeological site!
The campus should be open to the public next year so visitors can come away with a greater understanding of the heritage and history of this land.
Don’t miss it.