Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A trip back in time

This week's field trip was to the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, to see the Cradle of Christianity. The Carlos Museum is one of only three U.S. venues to host this exhibition, which traces the shared roots of Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices through biblical archaeology.

Organized by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Cradle of Christianity explores the concurrent histories of early Christian and Jewish life through some of the most significant biblical artifacts ever found, including a section of the Temple Scroll, a major Dead Sea Scroll. Other highlights include the burial ossuary of Caiaphas the High Priest—who, according to the New Testament, delivered Jesus to the Romans, and an inscription bearing the name of Pontius Pilate. These artifacts represent the only surviving physical testimonies of these two prominent figures. Cradle of Christianity features a full-scale reconstruction of the chancel of a Byzantine-era church and other remains of excavated synagogues, churches, and religious sites, such as capitals, mosaics, and marble furnishings, dedicatory inscriptions, and liturgical objects.

It was very cool to see artifacts from the time in which we are studying this year. After our tour we were invited to hear a few stories from storyteller Jim Weiss. The girls have grown-up listening to his stories which range from the Old Testament to Shakespeare. This was a real treat to see him in person. And as always we roamed through the permanent collection, which ranges from Mesoamerican, Egyptian, African, and Greco-Roman. All-in-all a very full day.

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