Thursday, September 01, 2005

Mass Psychometry

Phychometry: the ability or art of divining information about people or events associated with an object solely by touching or being near to it.

I am exhausted! I have spent the past few days having too much fun and I am t-i-r-e-d!

The week has been a whirlwind of activity so I am just going to fill you in on the highlights.

I have seen several portions (remaining pieces of 24 scrolls) of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some of the pieces going on display in our exhibit have never been outside of Israel before. It was very exciting for me to meet the curators and learn about their work. There is a huge amount of painstaking restoration that is involved in the conservation work. At one point the scroll bits are sewn into pockets of nylon mesh. No thread actually touches the scrolls, they are just secured in the sewn pocket. One of the neatest things is that I can actually read parts of them! My Hebrew is coming in handy!

I have also seen the coin vault at the Israel Antiquities Authority. It's amazing to seen such a vast collection of important coins. Coins reveal so much information about the past. The materials, date of minting, location of the find, and the images and words on them help us to understand a lot about the people that used them. Just today I held in my hand coins from Qumran that are over 2000 years old.

I have seen countless pottery vessels, juglets, plates, bowls, oil lamps and such. Israel has a huge collection. I visited the warehouse that stores all of the non-organic antiquities. It was like the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark where they put the ark away in a warehouse - thousands of items in a huge warehouse. The thing that I liked about it is that each piece is numbered, recorded, and filed in a very organized way. It was refreshing to be in an organized environment in Israel!

I've been in the "glass room" - where all kinds of ancient glass is stored. I have been in the "metals room" where bronze, brass, and even gold items are kept. There are drawers and drawers of gold and silver rings, earrings, bracelets, and other items.

It's been fun to be working again - and a thrilling to work in such a fascinating environment.

Stay tuned for pictures of my Masada trip!


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