Ancient crafts and industries

The exhibition presents the production and research methods of seven ancient crafts and industries, enabling us to understand how objects were manufactured in ancient times.
At the center of the exhibition is a mosaic floor from an ancient synagogue in Beth-Shean, from "The House of Leontis," named for one Leontis, who is mentioned in an inscription in the mosaic. The 1,500-year-old mosaic is decorated with figures of animals and a central medallion depicting a seven-branch menorah, above which is written the Hebrew word for peace: "shalom." The exhibition includes an explanation of ancient mosaic art, stressing the technological aspects involved in its production. The mosaic is surrounded by stone benches, reminding one of the structure of the ancient synagogue which served as a place of assembly for the community.
The six other crafts and industries displayed around this central exhibition are:
Metalworking
The use of metal is one of the most important innovations in human history and marks a turning point in the history of technology. The exhibition displays various minerals and metals used in ancient times and the methods of smelting and creating metal objects.

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Metalworking
Woodworking
Woodworking
Objects made of wood are rarely found in archaeological excavations, since wood is an organic material that decomposes. At times, remnants of objects made of wood have been found at sites. The exhibition features finds that were discovered in dry areas in our country such as Ein-Gedi and in other areas of the Negev. It also displays traditional objects made from wood in the region: various types of joints, carpenters' tools, locks, plates, combs, cosmetics containers, coffins, and reconstructed furniture.

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Stone Vessels Industry
One of the interesting phenomena characterizing archaeological finds at sites toward the end of the Second Temple period, particularly in and around Jerusalem, is the presence of many vessels made of limestone. The cause of the appearance of this flourishing industry at this time was the Jewish law ("halachah"), which states that stone vessels are not susceptible to ritual impurity. The exhibition recreates the production methods of stone vessels and also displays vessels that were used in everyday life in the Second Temple period, such as stone tables and coffins. Also shown are stone vessels in various stages of their production.

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Stone Vessels Industry
The Physician's Craft
The Physician's Craft
This exhibition introduces the visitor to the world of healing in ancient times. This exhibit explores ancient diseases, methods of rational healing, and medications produced from minerals and plants. Among the impressive artifacts are the surgical instruments of a physician from the Roman period.

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Glassmaking
This exhibit demonstrates methods of producing ancient glass vessels starting with the core-forming technique and later exploring the glassblowing technique, which was invented 2,000 years ago. The ways of producing raw glass are shown, as are methods of decorating glass vessels.

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Glassmaking
The Art of Writing
The Art of Writing
The invention of writing, which is a system of agreed upon graphic symbols that serves interpersonal communication, is one of the most important inventions in human history, as it generated a revolution in human consciousness and people's way of life. Presented in this exhibit are writing tools, materials, and three types of script that were predominant in ancient times: cuneiform in Mesopotamia, hieroglyphics in Egypt, and alphabetic writing, a central discovery that took place in this region in the mid-2nd millennium. Various finds, upon which writing in these scripts appears, demonstrate the special nature of each script.

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