By: Kaitlynn Anderson
Saturday, September 21st, was a beautifully sunny, breezy day. I gathered my equipment and headed off to Westborough, MA. My plan? To see Dr. Eric Meyers lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls and experience the exhibit at the Museum of Science.
The lecture took place at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and was co-sponsored by Friends of ASOR. Dr. Meyers, who traveled to Boston for this event, is a leading authority on Jewish History, Archaeology and Old Testament Writings. He’s a former president of the American Schools of Oriental Research and current member of the Board of Trustees. He’s helped produce or consulted on several documentaries for the National Geographic, PBS and BBC/Discovery Networks. We were lucky enough to view a portion of his documentary Enigma of the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the event.
The church filled up with people eager to hear what Dr. Meyers had to say. Several attendees commented on how they researched the Dead Sea Scrolls before the event, so they could ask informed questions. The crowd was a mix of young and old, scholars and everyday people.
The lecture started off with a PowerPoint presentation. Dr. Meyers recounted the history of how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and the many hands they passed through. He spoke of the pottery used to store these sheepskin scrolls for thousands of years. My favorite anecdote was the story of how the Isaiah scroll was shown to John C. Trever at American Schools of Oriental Research center in Jerusalem who then showed it to William F. Albright who confirmed the scroll to be the oldest known Hebrew manuscript.
After the PowerPoint, everyone enjoyed a portion of the Enigma of the Dead Sea Scrolls (a documentary on the controversies and history of the Dead Sea Scrolls). After the documentary, the guests had a short break, during which they had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Meyers one-on-one.
Once everyone was seated, the lecture continued. For this portion Dr. Meyers spoke passionately about where the scrolls are now and what finding the scrolls has meant for the world of archaeology and religion. He ended the lecture with a quote from a friend he respected very much, Geza Vermes. Afterwards, he took questions from the audience.
The attendees were then transported to the Museum of Science, where they experienced the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit with a little twist. Dr. Meyers walked through with the group, providing an extra layer to the already impressive exhibit. The crowd around the group grew as more and more people stopped to listen to what Dr. Meyers had to say.
The hours spent learning about the Dead Sea Scrolls were fascinating. The artifacts in the exhibit, awe inspiring. It really was a pretty amazing ‘Afternoon at the Museum’.
For more photos from the event check out the gallery below. To stay updated on future events sponsored by ASOR, click here to become a Friend of ASOR for free.
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