Crafts and Industries
exhibition presents the production and research methods of seven ancient
industries and crafts, enabling us to understand how objects were manufactured
in ancient times.
six industries and crafts displayed around this central exhibition are:
the center of the exhibition is a mosaic
floor from an ancient synagogue in Beth-Shean,
from 'The House of Leontis', named after one Leontis, who is mentioned
in an inscription in the mosaic. The 1,500 years old mosaic is decorated
with figures of animals and a central medallion depicting a seven-branch
Menora, above which is written the Hebrew word for peace: shalom.
The exhibition includes an explanation of ancient mosaic art, stressing
the technological aspects involved in its production. The mosaic is surrounded
by stone benches, reminding one of the structure of the ancient synagogue
that served as a place of assembly for the community.
The use of metal is one of the most important
innovations in human history and marks a turning point in the history of
technology. The exhibition display various minerals and metals used in
ancient times and the methods of smelting and creating metal objects.
Objects made of wood are rarely found in archaeological excavations, since
wood is an organic material that decomposes. At times, remnants of objects
made of wood have been found at sites. The exhibition features finds that
were discovered in dry areas in our country such as Ein-Gedi and in other
areas of the Negev. It also relates to the customary processing of wood
in our region in ancient times; the carpenter's tools; various methods
of wood joints; wooden locks; wood plates; wood combs; cosmetics container;
coffins and reconstructed furniture.
Demonstrated in this exhibit are methods of producing ancient glass vessels:
starting from glass made by the core-forming technique to the glassblowing
technique, which was invented 2,000 years ago. The ways of producing raw
glass are shown as are methods of decorating glass vessels.
Vessels Industry: One of the interesting
phenomena characterizing archaeological finds at sites toward the end of
the Second Temple period, particularly in and around Jerusalem, is the
presence of many vessels made of limestone. The cause of the appearance
of this flourishing industry at this time was the Jewish law (halachah),
which states that stone vessels are not susceptible to ritual impurity.
The exhibition recreates the production methods of stone vessels and also
displays vessels that were used in everyday life in the Second Temple period,
such as stone tables and coffins. Also shown are stone vessels in various
stages of their production.
Art of Writing: The invention of writing,
which is a system of agreed upon graphic symbols that serve inter-personal
communication, is one of the most important inventions in human history,
as it generated a revolution in human consciousness and people's way of
life. Presented in this exhibit are writing tools, materials, and three
types of scripts that were predominant in ancient times: cuneiform in Mesopotamia,
hieroglyphics in Egypt, and alphabetic writing, a central discovery that
took place in this region in the mid-2nd millennium. Various finds upon
which writing in these scripts appears demonstrate the special nature of
Physician's Craft: This exhibition introduces
the visitor to the world of healing in ancient times. The subjects covered
in this exhibit include: types of ancient diseases and methods of healing,
using familiar methods of rational medicine, including various medicines
made from minerals and plans. Among the impressive artifacts are the surgical
instruments of the physician from the Roman period.
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