Out of the Blue | From the Depth of the Sea to the National Flag

Photography: David Saad

• Curators: Oree Meiri, Yehuda Kaplan  and Dr. Yigal Bloch
• Design: Lila Chitayat  and Sarit Shaanan
• Location: -3nd Floor


An Exhibition which follows the thread of the mysterious blue color, tekhelet, from the Mediterranean shores over 3,500 years ago to the national colors of the State of Israel.

What is the secret of Tekhelet and Argaman, two precious colors which have held great significance for generations and up to present day?

Out of the Blue showcases unique archeological and historical items of profound cultural significance. The exhibition will display for the first time two-thousand-year-old tekhelet and argaman dyed fragments of textiles found in the caves of the Judean Desert and Masada. Also on display: a unique crown embedded with the rare lapis lazuli gemstone, the only known jar in the world that was painted entirely in purple, featuring royal inscriptions of Darius I, king of Persia, in four languages, and fascinating archaeological evidence for the purple dye industry from Tel Shikmona and Tel Dor. Finally, visitors to the exhibition will see rare prayer shawls and historic flags as Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary year.

Amanda Weiss, Director of the Bible Lands Museum says:
"This special exhibition looks at the magnificence as well as the significance of the color Blue in the ancient world, and ties the blue dyed threads mentioned in the Bible and extra-biblical texts, to the very design of the flag of the State of Israel today. The BLMJ is proud to be the one Museum in the world that highlights the relevance and continuity of the roots of civilization in this region and their impact on our world today, in a universal and non-sectarian way".


 Interview with Leora Berry, Deputy Director of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, on i24news >>


The exhibition displays important artifacts from the collection of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem and objects generously lent by several museums and institutions in Israel, as well as by private collectors. This exhibition was made possible with the support and cooperation of the Israel Antiquities Authority, The Elie and Batya Borowski Foundation, the American Friends of the BLMJ, the Lands of the Bible Archaeology Foundation, Canada, and the British Friends of the BLMJ, private donors and with the support of the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, The Ministry of Education and the Municipality of Jerusalem.