Third 'Dead Sea Scrolls' Lecture Set
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh is hosting an eight-part lecture series to complement "The Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibition.
Pnina Shor, head of the Department for the Treatment and Conservation of Artifacts, Israel Antiquities Authority, will discuss past and present conservation techniques used on the Dead Sea Scrolls. This lecture, the third in the series, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in the museum's WRAL Digital Theater.
"Due to the overwhelming popularity of the first two lectures, the museum strongly recommends purchasing tickets in advance," says a spokesman.
The removal of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the caves in which they resided for more than 2,000 years disturbed the environmental stability that had ensured their preservation for so long. From the time of their discovery in 1947, until the establishment of the conservation laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority in 1991, the scrolls have been rapidly deteriorating due to the changing environment, handling and treatment. Shor will discuss how the most up-to-date conservation and preservation methods are being used to protect the fragile scrolls.
Shor recently announced that scientists using American space technology have started a huge project to photograph digitally the Dead Sea Scrolls, using high-tech infrared cameras. The project is expected to take about five years, and the goal is to make the scrolls accessible to scientists and the general public.
"Now for the first time the scrolls will be a computer click away," says Shor. "This will ensure that the scrolls are preserved for another 2,000 years."
The Dead Sea Scrolls are widely acknowledged to be among the greatest archaeological treasures ever discovered. The Scrolls, discovered after 2,000 years hidden in caves of the Judean desert, are the bridge to a period that laid the foundation of western traditions, beliefs and practices throughout the past two millennia. Among the Scrolls are more than 200 Biblical manuscripts that represent nearly every book in the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament) and that predate any previously known copies by more than 1,000 years. The museum exhibition runs through Dec. 28.
The museum offers the Distinguished Lecture Series to expand on some of the cultural and scientific themes of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. The series includes local, national and international scholars speaking on topics ranging from the conservation of the scrolls to the roles women had at Qumran. Individual tickets for the lectures are $25 for the general public and $20 for Friends of the Museum; additional package discounts are available.
Last tickets to the exhibition are sold at 5 p.m. on lecture nights. Regular exhibition hours are noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For more information, including a full schedule for the lecture series, visit www.naturalsciences.org/scrolls.
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