Sunday, June 03, 2007

RISA LEVITT KOHN, curator of the upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in San Diego, is interviewed by
Overseeing the Scrolls: Questions for Risa Levitt Kohn

Saturday, June 2, 2007
| Decades ago, when a group of Arabian nomads known as the Bedouins entered a cave and found pots and jars of pottery, they broke them to see what treasure they contained. Finding nothing except for some parchment with writing on it in the last jar, they left the cave and carried the parchment with them, eventually turning it over to an antiquities dealer in Bethlehem.

At least, that's the legend surrounding the initial discovery of one of the most important groups of documents and relics in history -- the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found in 11 caves between 1947 and 1954. Some of the scrolls will be on display this month through December in an exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.

Risa Levitt Kohn is the exhibit's curator. Kohn took a two-year sabbatical as director of the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University to put the show together, her first such stint for a museum. More than 20 of the 100 or so experts who've dedicated their careers to studying the scrolls will lecture on their importance to several disciplines when the show opens at the end of June.