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Rockefeller Museum Rockefeller Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
Jerusalem  locality
Israel  country
Middle East  continent
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31.784399° N, 35.235643° E

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Description of Rockefeller Museum

Located near Herod's Gate, and named for John D. Rockefeller, who financed its construction with a gift of $2 million in 1927, the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum is a treasury of regional archaeological finds ranging from the Stone Age to the 18th century.

The museum's eclectic 1930s design is a Jerusalem landmark that combines elements of Byzantine, Islamic, and art deco, and includes a beautiful cloister garden set around a reflecting pool. The building was damaged during the Six-Day War, but thankfully the museum's displays were barely affected.

Much of the collection was excavated in Acre and Galilee by American and English archaeologists during the first half of this century. Pottery, tools, and household effects are arranged by periods: Iron Age, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine.

Highlights of the collection include 9th-century carved wooden panels from the Al Aqsa Mosque; Crusader stonework that once adorned the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; Hellenistic and Roman objects founded in Judaean desert caves; and richly ornamented early Islamic architectural details from the 8th-century Hisham's Palace near Jericho.

There is also a special gallery of Egyptian Antiquities; in the south gallery's Paleolithic section are the bones of Mount Carmel Man. The museum also holds a number of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the bulk of which are in the Israel Museum.

Holly Hayes
May 1, 2013

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