Saturday, August 01, 2015

"A Short History of Humankind"

I'm visiting Israel right now for a little over a week, to have a vacation and see friends and go to interesting places.  I have been spending time with friends, and I went to a wonderful new exhibit at the Israel Museum called קצור תולדות האנושות ("A short history of humankind"), inspired by the book of the same name by Yuval Noah Harari. The exhibit told the story of human history using objects from the museum and modern and contemporary art and video installations that reflected on the themes developed in the book. The "short history" exhibit began with the Big Bang and eventually came to the present.

This is a model of a house, found in an archaeological excavation in Arad, Israel. It dates from the early Bronze Age, between 3,000-2,650 BCE. From the explanatory plaque: "Though we do not know to what purpose it was built, this rare model allows us a glimpse of the structure of houses in the ancient city of Arad. Rectangular in shape, with a flat roof that had grooves to collect rain water, they contained a space that served as bedroom, utility room, and kitchen, as well as side rooms that were sometimes used as kitchen and sometimes as living rooms. The animals were kept in the courtyard, where most of the house chores were carried out, including weaving, sewing, and the preparing of flint tools."
From the section of the exhibit on divinities - on the left, deities represented as rocks with holes in them, also from the Bronze Age in Israel, and on the left, a modern portrayal of Jesus, facing Pontius Pilate, titled "Ecce Homo" ("This is the man").


The last two images show the original moon landing in 1969 and a playful reenactment.

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