Archaeology in Israel is brought to life in a new book on the collections of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 2010, 352 pp.
325 color illus., $57.95 (paperback)
The recent expansion and remodeling of the Israel Museum (Jerusalem) features a lavish new installation of archaeological treasures collected from decades of excavations, donations and acquisitions. While the museum collections contain artifacts from civilizations around the world, Israel archaeology is the primary emphasis of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Celebrating this collection is the publication of the beautifully illustrated, full-color Chronicles of the Land: Archaeology in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Archaeology in Israel is the focus of this compendium of the Israel Museum’s collections, edited by Michal Dayagi-Mendels and Silvia Rozenberg. Reviewed by Steven Fine of Yeshiva University, the text is more than just a beautiful coffee table book or tourist souvenir. Fine points out that the book also serves as a guide to Israel archaeology for the knowledgeable layperson. He also commends the editors for including lesser-known treasures brought to light by recent archaeology in Israel, such as the Heliodorus inscription, while still highlighting the more famous jewels of Israel archaeology, like the Tel Dan stela.
In addition to artifacts representing Israel archaeology, Chronicles of the Land also includes reconstructions of churches and synagogues from late antiquity that depict how the curators of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, imagine these ancient buildings. This demonstrates how archaeology in Israel is much more than just artifacts–Israel archaeology helps us envision the buildings and communities that populated ancient Israel.
This latest book by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem on Israel archaeology also features Islamic art in a chapter on “neighboring cultures,” demonstrating that archaeology in Israel is not confined to the study of ancient Judaism and early Christianity.
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