We are delighted to tell you that Saul Fox and the Winding Way Foundation, long time friends and supporters of the Israel Antiquities Authority, have generously agreed to support the establishment of the Knesset Archaeological Garden on the grounds of the Israeli Knesset. The Knesset Archaeological Garden will be established on the area adjacent to the western facade of the Knesset building, near the main entrance and the ceremonial platform, providing visitors to the Knesset an opportunity to visit and enjoy the garden prior to entering the building. This wonderful gift by Saul Fox and the Winding Way Foundation is uniquely important to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s efforts to reach out and educate the public about the rich and diverse archaeological heritage of the Land of Israel. The archaeological garden will be dedicated during Israel’s 60th anniversary year.
The focus of the archaeological garden – Building and Builders of Jerusalem – will be illuminated through representative and unique archaeological finds from various archaeological and historical periods that were discovered in archaeological excavations in or around the city of Jerusalem.
The garden will include six different exhibits, each focusing on a historical/archaeological period of Jerusalem. Each exhibit will feature a number of representative archaeological objects with text and image panels providing detailed information about the respective period, timelines, description of main events, construction characteristics, as well as reconstruction drawings, maps and other such relevant information. The periods represented in the archaeological garden will include: the Second Temple period (Early Roman period) 37 BCE – 132 CE, the Late Roman period 132 – 324 CE, the Byzantine period 324 – 638 CE, the Muslim periods 638 – 1516 CE, the Crusader period 1099 – 1187 CE and the Ottoman period 1516 – 1917 CE. The exhibits will be connected via landscaped walkways, will include benches for visitors to sit and enjoy the view and the displays, and the area will be landscaped around the existing old and beautiful Jerusalem pine trees. In addition, a monumental Herodian period stone, weighing more than 8 tons, from the area of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount enclosure, will be placed at the entrance to the archaeological garden on the ceremonial platform of the Knesset.
The Israel Antiquities Authority is the pre-eminent organization in the fields of Israeli and Biblical Archaeology. It is the custodian of more than one million archaeological objects, among them 15,000 Dead Sea Scrolls – the largest and most comprehensive collection of Dead Sea Scrolls in the world. Our work is both universal in preserving the heritage of all humankind and the historic record of human culture in the world of Israel, and at the same time uniquely meaningful to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
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