The National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, opens an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Jordan in the Foyer Gallery of the Natural History building. The exhibition, sponsored by the government of Jordan, was on display from Feb. 27 to March 21 and drew 209,643 visitors. The scrolls then moved to the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia as part of a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibit. Negotiations for the loan of the scrolls and accompanying photos from Jordan began in 1960.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of some 981 different texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 in 11 caves in the immediate vicinity of the ancient settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank about two kilometers from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea.
The consensus is that the Qumran Caves Scrolls date from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. The texts are of great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the third oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon.
Posted: 27 February 2017