Ancient Treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Living under the Sun

…a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey…
Deuteronomy 8:7-8

In a land where the sun beats down mercilessly, water is a resource as precious as life itself. Towns were located near springs, and some homes even had cisterns dug into the cool bedrock.

Houses were typically made of clay bricks on stone foundations, and covered with flat roofs. They had one storey (sometimes two), divided into three long parallel spaces and a broad area in the rear. The central space was a courtyard, used for preparing oil and wine, cooking, weaving and other household tasks. The side spaces were for the animals and for storage. The area in the rear was the family's domestic quarters.

Biblical Law imposed strict dietary rules on the choice and preparation of food-the concept of purity associated with religious worship reached into people's everyday lives.The daily menu included bread and local fare: cheese, lentils, figs, olives, milk and wine.

Audio - Curator's Tour (Dr. Adolfo Roitman)

Objects of everyday life in First Temple times
Objects of everyday life in First Temple times.
Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority, exhibited at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Photo © The Israel Museum, by Dr. Jean-Luc Pilon, Canadian Museum of Civilization