Dead Sea Scrolls   Leave a comment

An exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls was at the Cincinnati Museum Center, wrapping up in two weeks. Over the weekend, we went. They do not allow photography of the scrolls themselves, but they had some artifacts in the rooms leading up to it that were quite interesting.
Row of Pots

There were representative artifacts of all the cultures that inhabited Israel. As a baker and gone to Catholic schools for twelve years, I found a stamp for communion bread interesting. It comes from the Twelfth or Thirteenth Century CE.
Communion Stamp

These dolls, made of bone, come from the latter half of the First Century CE.
Bone "Dolls"

I found these sling balls to be an interesting display.
Sling Stones

AS a collector of writing instruments, I was fascinated. First, by some of the objects. This seal, with an ibex on it, was used to show ownership.
Ibex Seal

And this inkwell, from between the First Century CE and First Century BCE, still had ink in it when it was discovered.
Ink Pot

What was really striking, when looking at the scrolls themselves, was how this writing survived more than two thousand years. I tried to imagine scrapes from my journal on display by some distant culture, millennia after my death. It occurs to me that, having achieved such a high degree of literacy among a broad spectrum of people, it could be lost quit quickly. So much of what is “written” today does not see paper. It seems more permanent–it can be easily replicated and passed around–but also, easy for the system to go away that produces it.

It was an impressive exhibit.

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