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Dead Sea scrolls to go on display in Israel... but only for a fortnight

By Victoria Richards

The world's oldest complete copy of the Ten Commandments is to go on display for the first time in Jerusalem.

The document, which forms part of a collection of ancient biblical manuscripts, has previously only appeared overseas.

Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority said that the 2,000-year-old scroll, which was discovered near the Dead Sea, east of Jerusalem, is usually kept in a pitch-black storage facility designed to protect it from the climate.

It is so brittle that it can only be displayed for a fortnight before it is returned.

It will be on display to the public at the Israel Museum as part of an exhibition of 14 ancient objects, entitled 'A Brief History of Humankind'.

These include an original handwritten manuscript of Einstein’s theory of relativity, tools used to hunt elephants 1.5m years ago, remains of a communal bonfire from 800,000 years ago, skulls from the oldest known family burial and a 9,000-year-old sickle.

The curators have also selected a 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian tablet and 2,700-year-old coins.

Museum director James Snyder told The Guardian that the exhibit would be celebrating the museum's 50th anniversary.

“After only 50 years, we may be one of only a very few museums worldwide that can tell such a broad story from its own holdings,” he said.

Source: Independent

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