The Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition 2009 was held at the Arts House. I visited it just one week before the run of it ended in Singapore.
Unfortunately (and understandably), no videoing was allowed. Nonetheless I took a lot of pictures!
Onwards into the exhibition! The first segment was on the first floor where there was a screening room in which we learnt about what the dead sea scrolls were. They were scrolls found in a cave near the dead sea and lots of Indiana Jone-sing about in research and all that.
What was interesting is because it had to do with the written word and also later on, the Gutenberg press.
I’m sure most people can just wiki up on the fine details but hey, I’m like summary girl. There were writings on clay tablets and pots. Interestingly because nowadays we tend to write on the keyboard. Will our posts last forever like these physical things?
A fragment of a scroll. To the left is an infrared scanned version of the original piece on the right. It’s really tiny and dark, you can’t exactly make out what it says in the fragment without having high tech gadgetry.
Okay, this scroll is REALLY, REALLY long. It’s in the Hebrew square script. I forgot the proper word for it but anyway, this is made of kosher goat hide. The scholars who write each page of it are specially trained and if they make one tiny mistake, GOOD BYE PAGE.
Must be some pressure to write it like that especially when you can’t exactly get hides that easily. You need to sacrifice the goat, skin it, cure it, etc.
There were five sections in the exhibition. It goes like this:
- Screening room
- Activity room
In the screening room, yes, I’ve said above, it screened a little video of what the dead sea scrolls are. The scroll room had the clay pieces including fragments of the scrolls.
The books had… books. HAHAHAHA. Lots of books, printed OR hand written. Only, you know, their handwritten works look printed. Their calligraphy is that good. They were so beautiful and the pages are still lasting!
The people room was more about the people who translated the bible and also about the history of the scandals and such whatnot in having the difficulty to do so.
Lastly, the activity room was more like a little fun room where you could make your own scrolls or buy stuff. More fun for kids since I’ve done calligraphy before in school (makes me think why on earth did we have that module when no one else nowadays seem to have it… WAS MY PAST PREPARING FOR AN AWESOME HISTORIC FUTURE?)
Calligraphyyyyyy. I found it amusing because it can be read as the prophecy of the LJ Chapter. Those who don’t get it, it’s okay because the joke is pretty lame.
You could also purchase the programmes on the second floor. Actually, the programme was pay as you wish (recommended donation price was $2). I stuck in $2 in the box and got it since hey, people need money to print things plus, it was a summary of the whole place including bits of info.
Besides programmes, there were official leafs of pages from one of the books there. It costs a few thousand dollars though and they’re framed.
Okay, the last place I went around in there was the activity room. There were some kids doing calligraphy on some paper there too. You pretty much could do your own stuff there. I didn’t since I have a lot of clay at home and all the materials anyway due to my artwork and cosplay.
Opposite the purchasing stuff was a little showcase of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore’s handwritten bibles.
AND THEY ACTUALLY DID. There were quite a few copies in either Chinese or English. It’s pretty amazing since it was rather thick and hellooo, a few copies mean a lot of work too.
In the end, I bought a t-shirt from the exhibition since I needed a black t-shirt anyway. Thus, I left the place!
For a MORE educational post about the exhibition, read Raven Azure’s take on it.
I left feeling that I should write in my adventure book more and see if it’ll last a few centuries since online data… Well, it might be erased one day in an apocalyptic zombie-ish world!