Old Jerusalem’s New Attraction

The Terra Sancta Museum, which opened in 2015 on the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem, has unveiled an archaeological wing. It displays the collections of the Department of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology of the Pontificia Universitas Antonianum in Rome.

The wing’s first exhibition is “The House of Herods: Life and Power in the Age of the New Testament and Monastic Movement.” It showcases more than 300 artifacts from the millennium that began around the fourth century B.C. and that includes the time when Herod the Great ruled Judea. Visitors will discover the daily life of Jerusalem’s inhabitants of 2,000 years ago and view ancient rescued and restored structures, including more than 800 bronze coins dating back to the second century, a Byzantine cistern, Crusader rooms, and a courtyard surrounded by Mameluke structures.

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Terra Sancta’s mission is to foster inter-cultural and inter-­religious dialogue by telling the story and history of Jerusalem, home to the three major monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The museum will add a historical wing in 2019, and a multimedia wing after that.