The Israel Antiquities Authority – the preeminent organization in the field of Israeli and Biblical Archaeology – is now undertaking an historically unprecedented project to bring together nearly two million archaeological objects, among them 15,000 Dead Sea Scrolls, under one roof in the heart of Jerusalem. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assemble the priceless treasures that collectively represent the cultural heritage of the Land of Israel, outlining the history of the people that inhabited the land over the past 5,000 years. The archaeological treasures, including the largest and most comprehensive collection in the world of the 2,000 year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, are currently housed in various locations throughout Israel, and are unavailable to the general public.
By creating the National Campus, nearly two million objects in the Archaeological State Treasures, the National Archaeological Library and Archives, the National Archaeological Conservation and Restoration Laboratories, the viewable housing centers, the archaeological education centers and the headquarters of the Israel Antiquities Authority, will be brought to a safe and permanent home, in Jerusalem's Museum Hill, on land that was designated by the Israeli Government, across from the Knesset. They will be housed in a 220,000 sq. foot modern building designed by architect Moshe Safdie, that is bound to become a model for the worldwide archaeological community, and a must-see stop for school groups, students, tourists, archaeologists and researchers, and the general public.
Work on the National Campus began in 2009. The National Campus presents a rare opportunity to educate the public about the significance of the remarkable archaeological heritage of the Land of Israel by illuminating the fascinating archaeological work, and promises to enhance conservation and preservation of the collections for future generations of scholars, students and the general public.
The importance of building a safe, permanent and accessible home for the most important material culture discovered in the Land of Israel cannot be exaggerated. The archaeological work conducted in the country is universal in preserving the heritage of all humankind and uniquely meaningful to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel will serve as the National Center for the research, study, conservation, restoration, housing, curation, publication, education, and illumination of the archaeological material excavated in Israel.
The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel will be used to educate the public about the importance of the archaeological work conducted in the Land of Israel, by drawing researchers, students, archaeologists, and the general public to visit the National Conservation and Restoration Laboratories, the National Library and Archives, the State Collections housing facilities and the study centers.
The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel will serve as the link between the past and the present.