Dead Sea Scrolls Press Information

On display through April 14, 2013

Witness the largest and most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized in Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times at Cincinnati Museum Center. Considered among the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible and the ancient handwritten texts of the words that shaped the future of the Western world. Of the more than 600 objects from the Biblical to Byzantine Period including religious articles, weapons of war, stone carvings, textiles, ceramics and fragments of the Scrolls, many have never been publicly exhibited before now.

Members of the media who need additional information may contact Casey Kroger at or (513) 287-7054 (office) or (513) 608-5777 (cell).

To buy tickets, click here. For group sales, call (513) 287-7021 or toll free at (800) 733-2077 for special group rates of $19 for adults and $10 for children.

Click images to download in high resolution.

Book of War: The Book of War details an apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil. Angels, good and bad, join the fight. After 40 years and seven battles, God tips the balance toward good, initiating a new world order. According to the text, the blessing on this fragment is to be recited to the surviving community after the final battle, at the end of time. God will increase fertility and will prevent disease and destruction by plagues and wild animals. It weaves in familiar quotations from the Bible, including a paraphrase of Numbers 6:24-25, "May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD make his face to shine upon you."

Photo credit: Matthew Peyton

Western Wall Stone: It is believed that this 3-ton stone fell from the southwest corner of the Second temple's outer wall during the Roman fighting in 70 CE. The stone will be part of a cast replicating a section of the Western Wall, and guests will be able to write their own prayers down on paper and insert them into the wall. The prayers will then periodically be sent back to Israel. This is one of the only artifacts in the exhibit visitors will be allowed to touch.

Stone Inscribed with Five Branch Menorah: This rare engraving of a menorah was recently uncovered in Jerusalem. The stone was found in Jerusalem's ancient drainage channel, in proximity to the Temple Mount. Researchers speculate that a passerby who had seen the Temple menorah incised his impressions on a stone and afterwards tossed it to the side of the road, never imagining that his creation would be found 2,000 years later.


Stone Stamp Seal Bearing a Figure of an Archer: Among the most common types of inscription found in ancient Israel and Judah are seals and seal impressions. Many bear the names of the seal's owner and his father. They were used to stamp the handles of jars containing royal-administrative merchandise and official documents written on papyrus. These seals are known as "bulla." They provide us with invaluable information about the iconography and personal names of the biblical period. (7th century BCE) 

Ossuaries: These ossuaries, found in a tomb in Jerusalem, have inscriptions that included the names "Jesus," "Mary" and "Joseph." While it might be tempting to claim that this tomb belonged to Jesus and his family, these names are in fact extremely common in the Second temple period. The New Testament reports that Jesus's body was placed in the tomb of a prominent follower named Joseph of Arimathea. Since the early fourth century, Christians have venerated the site of Jesus's burial at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City.

Pottery Four-Horned Altar: Small stone and clay altars were common throughout the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Many have horn-like corners, imitating larger sacrificial altars with horn-shaped cornerstones. They are found in local shrines and in the remains of dwellings. The presence of these altars in domestic settings is another example of Israelite popular religion, practiced alongside official rituals performed in the Jerusalem Temple. (10th century BCE)

Photo credit: Matthew Peyton

The oldest and best-preserved parchment manuscript of the Ten Commandments will be on display in Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times at Cincinnati Museum Center from March 29 to April 14.


To buy individual tickets, click here or call (513) 287-7001. For group tickets, call (513) 287-7021 or toll free at (800) 733-2077 for special group rates of $19 for adults and $10 for children. Click here for more information.


Entry times - final week

The exhibit will not be extended by adding additional hours or days, as the scrolls will have reached their maximum illumination allotment for the exhibition.

Monday, April 8 9 a.m.–5 p.m.*
Tuesday, April 9 9 a.m.–5 p.m.*
Wednesday, April 10 9 a.m.–7 p.m.*
Thursday, April 11 9 a.m.–7 p.m.*
Friday, April 12 9 a.m.–9 p.m.*
Saturday, April 13 9 a.m.–10 p.m.*
Sunday, April 14 9 a.m.–9 p.m.*

*Note: The last time listed above for each day is the last time to enter the exhibit, after which you can view the exhibit at your own pace.


Downloadable Press Kit

Click here to go to the main Dead Sea Scrolls page.


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