Disappointing: the Dead Scrolls exhibit at the ROM

Before I go on, I would like to state that I wouldn’t have been even able to see this exhibit, had it not been for the kindness of one of my building’s residents, who works as well as volunteers over at the Royal Ontario Museum (hereafter referred to as the ROM), and that because I’m extremely grateful for her gift, I will double my efforts in trying to remember what her name is so I can insert it in here.

Since the announcement that the ROM would be hosting the Dead Sea Scrolls: Words that Changed the World project back in January, I’ve been kind of curious as to what would be on display. After all, these were touted to be the most important archaeological discovery in human history.

Today, I got the chance to do so, but sadly I must tell you that the exhibit is just as big a disappointment in the end, as the Michael Lee Chin Crystal addition was when it was completed.

What should be credited however, is the marketing campaign, because only a true genius could sculpt such a phenomenal buildup for what was otherwise a lackluster and paltry display.

Of the 900 documents discovered in 11 caves around the Wadi Qumran between 1947-1956, maybe 20 scraps actually made the trip to Ontario, and none of them were the really important ones.


************** I’ve just gone back to the ROM site to check my accuracy, and in fact only 10 are on display right now, with another 10 to be put on display in October. ********************

Artifacts also on display, to help provide some historical groundwork for the time period in which the Scrolls would have been stashed away for purposes of safekeeping, were sparse, and the total number could have been put in just one of the glass cases found throughout the rest of the museum.

Aside from video presentations, thankfully made available in both of Canada’s official languages, no ROM staff were to be found to answer any questions, except when collecting your ticket at the start, or to pay for trinkets at the end, when exiting through the gift shop.

So, if you’re expecting to see something like this:


you’re going to be very disappointed.

In conclusion, there are DVDs available (ironically, also at the ROM’s gift shop) documenting the history and impact of this discovery. You’d be better off buying one, than wasting your time shuffling along with the crowds.


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