Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last chance to see Herod the Great, The King's Final Journey


I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of Israel Museum visitors have viewed the Herod exhibition since it opened early this year.*
I wish it could stay forever but on January 4, Herod the Great, The King's Final Journey will close. 

The banners are all I can show you of the artifacts on display,  because the no photography rule was strictly enforced and there were guards everywhere inside the rooms of the exhibition.

You can see the man on duty at the entrance is a no-nonsense guy.

Well, OK, this is the one picture I sneaked before being told to go check my bag.

These are the frescoed walls from Herod's Throne Room, in his Third Palace in Jericho.
The scrolling light words on the floor say
The King is dead.
King Herod died in his palace in Jericho in April of 4 BCE.
His body was laid out on a golden bier encrusted with gems.
Wrapped in purple, with a crown on his head and a scepter beside his right hand, he departed for his final journey from Jericho to Herodium accompanied by his family, army, and servants.
At Herodium the mausoleum and sarcophagus he had prepared for himself awaited him.
We invite you to join us on the King's final journey. . . .

On the book cover is the truncated cone of the Herodion in the Judean desert.
An old photo shows archaeologist Ehud Netzer z"l  on site many years ago.

As the museum website summarizes --
The first exhibition entirely dedicated to Herod the Great, Israel’s greatest builder and one of the most controversial figures in Jewish history. Large reconstructions and new finds from Herod’s palaces in Herodium, Jericho, and other sites are on display. Exhibited to the public for the very first time, these artifacts shed new light on the political, architectural, and aesthetic influence of Herod’s rule (37–4 BCE). Herod’s tomb – discovered at Herodium after a 40-year search by the late Prof. Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University – holds pride of place. The exhibition is held in memory of Prof. Netzer, who fell to his death in 2010 on the site of his discovery.
Have a gallery tour here.
Also see how Silvia Rozenberg, co-curator with Dudi Mevorah, explains in two minutes  how they worked on this tremendous exhibition for four years. 
Herod the Builder would be proud of them.
*UPDATE:  Haaretz  answers my question today (Jan. 1):
"This past Saturday, some 3,500 people checked out the exhibition and almost 440,000 visitors have passed through since it opened in February – a record for a single show at the Israel Museum, which expects the overall number of guests to reach 450,000 by closing day."


Adullamite said...

Josephus in his 'Jewish War' gives his view of Herod. Well worth a read, although I suspect you know it well.

Hels said...

Is the supervision of photography so tight because of commercial reasons (so that people will have to buy material from the official bookshop)? Or is there something about Herod the Great being one of the most controversial figures in Jewish history?

Thanks for the reference to the gallery tour and to the book. I can follow those up. Have a peaceful and productive 2014!

Anonymous said...

thank you Dina for a fascinating post. i wish i could see the exhibition in person. such a wealth of history. wonderful stuff. i must say that i read you blog every day and always enjoy. i'm glad that you have your family with you. shalom. Fran

Cloudia said...

Always a unique and fascinating historic presence.

from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

Kay said...

I know it's embarrassing, but the first thing I think of when I hear about King Herod is Jesus Christ Superstar.

Dina said...

Adullamite, Josephus, well worth a read indeed.

Hels, I never understand about the ban on photography. Well, I'd find it disturbing if people around me were busy photographing with flash.
At least now, the archaeology section (and maybe others) of the Israel Museum are letting me quietly shoot photos.

Fran, I'm honored by your visits. Wish you a blessed holiday season.

Cloudia, shaloha chavera.

Kay, I'm embarrassed to admit I have never seen that movie, although I remember some of the songs.

VP said...

King Herod's song, from Jesus Christ Superstar...

Dina said...

VP, ho ho! I see there is a serious lacuna in my education. Will have to sit down and watch the whole movie on YouTube.

Eki said...

Interesting. I still do not understand why many museums enforce no-photography rule. Perhaps you can explain, Dina?

Dina said...

Eki, sorry, I don't understand those rules either.

Fun60 said...

I wonder if this exhibition will ever go on tour. It looks like one we should all be able to access.

Dina said...

Fun60, I doubt that the treasures would be let out of the country. Sorry.

Laura said...

Fascinating Dina! Happy New Year:-)

toby said...

Oh, we went to see that about half a year ago, with the kids. They really did a great job - it was fascinating! At least we can still go to the actual Herodion :)

crystal said...

How interesting. What I know of him comes mostly from the bits in Jesus movies - not exactly primary historical sources ;) Too bad the exhibit can't go on tour.

Indrani said...

That is interesting. I am keen to look up the book.
Happy New Year to you!

William Kendall said...

Fascinating, Dina!

I know the National Gallery here tends to have a no photography policy inside the galleries, but the museums tend to allow it... though with some exceptions on specific items.

K V V S MURTHY said...

Very interesting..!