In ancient cultures, birds were associated with different aspects of human experience: power, love, evil, order and chaos, death and resurrection.
The exhibition focuses on birds in different ancient civilizations and examines their roles in human lives and beliefs.
Perhaps the most important characteristic of the birds, in human perception, is their ability to fly to the sky, to cover large distances and to move freely between different realms.
Inspired by this movement, the exhibition will be divided in four domains:
The sky, the realm of the ruling birds (falcon, eagle and vulture);
The water, a primeval element connected to birds representing wisdom (heron, ibis, duck and goose);
The earth, inhabited by birds with a special connection to humans (ostrich and rooster),
and the world beyond physical reality, in which we will meet winged creatures connected to death and the afterlife (owl, griffin, the Egyptian ba-bird, siren and peacock).
The exhibition will end with the bird to which a plethora of meanings and symbolisms have been attributed – the dove.
The artifacts on display include: a hawk mummy which was probably dedicated to the Egyptian god Horus and will be exhibited for the first time, ostrich eggs used as luxury vessels, ancient Greek ceramics decorated with images of birds and other winged creatures, and colorful Byzantine mosaics from the Land of Israel and the neighboring countries.
Events and activities around the exhibition (program in Hebrew):
Summer Roost – high-flying summer activities for the whole family | click here
Gallery talks with the exhibition curators, Oree Meiri and Yigal Bloch, in the exhibition “Early Birds: Soaring with the Ancients” | in Hebrew
Wed., August 4 and 25, at 18:00 | Included with the museum entrance fee. | Register here
Winged tours – guided tours in the permanent galleries and in the exhibition “Early Birds: Soaring with the Ancients” | from 8 August | in Hebrew
August, Sun.-Thu., at 11:00 and Sat. at 11:30. Additional tour on Wed. at 18:00.
Covered by the museum entrance tickets. | For ages 18 and above.