The Eretz Israel Museum is a multidisciplinary museum located in Tel Aviv, and is one of the three largest museums in all of Israel. The museum focuses on the culture and history of Israel through numerous temporary and permanent exhibits that cover topics in the fields of ethnography, archaeology, local identity, cultural history, popular art, traditional crafts, Judaica, and folklore. The museum is spread out over around twenty acres, and consists of approximately fifteen buildings and other various installations. There are hundreds of thousands of objects within the museum’s diverse collections, including many rare treasures.
Located at the heart of the Eretz Israel Museum, situated adjacent to the exhibit spaces and buildings, is Tell Qasile, an archaeological mound that dates back to the twelfth century B.C.E. Other ancient relics, including flour mills, an ancient wine press, oil presses, mosaics, and more, can be seen throughout the gardens that surround the site. Along with the museum’s ancient sites and ten permanent exhibits, around twenty temporary exhibitions are displayed throughout the year. The museum also hosts meetings, lectures, and symposiums with scholars and curators in different fields. Visitors to the Eretz Museum is also home to a gift shop, a cafe, workshops and lecture rooms, variously sized halls, and an innovative planetarium.
Tell Qasile, found in the center of the complex of the Eretz Israel Museum, is one of the most important and fascinating archaeological site in the area of Tel Aviv. Two shards of pottery with Hebrew inscriptions from the time period of the First Temple were found on this hill during the 1940’s. Resulting excavation started in the year 1948 under the direction of Benjamin Mazar. These excavations continued up to the beginning of the 1990’s.
The excavation revealed ruins of a port city constructed during the twelfth century B.C.E. by the Philistines near the Yarkon riverbed, along the edge of a sandstone ridge. This city was destroyed during the tenth century B.C.E. in a massive fire, which was supposedly the work of King David. The city was rebuilt eventually, and flourished during later time periods.
One of the many exhibits visitors can explore at the Eretz Israel Museum is the Glass Pavilion. The Pavilion transports guests on a one-of-a-kind journey through time, going back to thousands of year ago to the region’s early days of glassmaking. Many pieces seen in the Glass Pavilion were donated from the private collection of Walter Moses, the man who founded the museum in the year 1958. The beautiful and rare collection of glass has grown throughout the year by significant donations and new acquisitions.
One of the newest permanent exhibits at the Eretz Israel Museum is Local Judaica. This exhibition features artifacts that were made in Israel between the year 1880 and 1967. Visitors can see some of the finest items of Judaica that have developed in Israel, starting during the late nineteenth century up through the 1960’s, on display at the museum’s new exhibit.Local Judaica features items that are related to the development of the local culture of Israel.
Chaim Levanon St 2, Tel Aviv, Israel, Phone: 972-36-41-52-44