The most ancient Biblical scrolls ever discovered have been housed in the specially designed Shrine of the Book at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum since 1965. The Shrine is kept at a perfect temperature for preservation of the ancient scrolls by continual jets of cool water streaming down on the structure.
Dating from the third century BCE to the first century CE, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea, east of Jerusalem. The manuscripts are generally attributed to an isolated Jewish sect, referred to in the scrolls as “the Community,” who settled in Qumran in the Judean desert.
The light-sensitive scrolls are housed and exhibited in the Shrine of the Book, designed by Armand Bartos and Frederic Kiesler, whose signature shiny white dome evokes the lids of the jars in which the scrolls were found, hidden for centuries in the high dry caves surrounding the Dead Sea.
Despite the fact that Google and The Israel Museum last week announced the digitalization of five of the main scrolls, it’s still more impressive to see them in person.
The Shrine of the Book is open Sun, Mon, Wed, Thur. between 10 a.m-5 p.m: Tuesdays between 4 p.m-9 p.m. Fridays: 10 a.m-2 p.m and Saturdays: 10 a.m-3 p.m. Entrance fee.