By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I thought I heard a while back about an exhibition on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I've been having a hard time finding out more about it. Do you know anything about this?

A: The Museum of Civilization located in Hull, Quebec is holding "Ancient Treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls" until April 12, 2004. It's a rare chance to view biblical treasures dating back as early as 3,200 years ago. It was first discovered in 1947 when a Bedouin boy entered a secluded cave around the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in search of his lost goat. Not only did he find his goat, but also he happened across seven earthenware jars containing the ancient scrolls carefully wrapped in linen.

This serendipitous discovery is considered one of the most significant archeological finds that has led scholars to study and probe their hidden meanings ever since. Today, we have a rare opportunity to view portions of the Isaiah B Scroll, the Community Rule Scroll and the War Scroll. Among them, the War Scroll and one of the oldest biblical manuscripts known, the Isaiah B Scroll, have never before left the Holy Land until now.

You can also catch a glimpse of one of the seven jars which scholars report most likely helped to preserve them. Other artificats help to depict daily life as it most likely was in those times. There's a carved pomegranate, likely the tip of a priestly sceptre, decorated amulets, oil lamps and mosaics. In total, 107 artifacts are on display.

There are no plans for any other North American exhibition in the near future. For more details, call the Museum of Civilization at toll-free 1.800.555.5621. Admission prices are $10 Adults, $7 Seniors, $6 Students, $4 Children ages three to 12.

There's free admission on Thursdays from 4pm to 9pm and half-price all day on Sundays.


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All text & photos 2004.