Fact And Fiction In Current Exhibitions Of The Dead Sea Scrolls - A Critical Notebook for Viewers

Norman Golb

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Six decades after their discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls are still being treated in many quarters as merely the writings of a small sect that once inhabited an austere desert location near the area where they were discovered. Nowhere is this effort being more ardently pursued than in the present series of Scroll exhibitions taking place here in the States.

This series, while rooted in showings of previous decades, was developed and formulated only during the past few years, beginning with the exhibit that took place in Charlotte (N.C.) in the spring of 2006. This one was passed on to Seattle’s Pacific Science Center (Autumn 2006). From there it traveled to Kansas City's Discovery Place (Winter and Spring 2007), and it is now moving to San Diego’s Natural History Museum, with an opening planned for the end of June 2007. It must be noted that the wording of the descriptions in the exhibit plaques has been formulated in consultation with and subject to the approval of the responsible curators at the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.