Tuesday, October 9, 2012

F is for... Franklin Institute

On Saturday, we took a family field trip to Philadelphia.  Our main purpose was to visit the Franklin Institute and see their exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

We had pre-purchased our tickets to the IMAX movie Rocky Mountain Express and the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, so we had to fit our other explorations of the museum around those time frames.  And it really wasn't enough time to do it justice.  We knew that going in, but we did get some brief looks at the regular exhibits.  First stop was the displays about airplanes and how they work.

The IMAX movie was about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia.  It was an amazing movie.  I've visited many of the places seen in the movie, and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking, especially on the huge screen.  Kennady was in open-mouthed awe through much of it, and that certainly added to MY enjoyment!  We were sobered to realize the monumental difficulty of the task of building the railroad and the staggering cost in loss of lives of the courageous men that did the backbreaking work.  If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it!

After the movie, we had time to look at a couple more exhibits, including the Giant Heart and displays about the human body, and displays about electricity.

On the way up to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, we took a look at the Foceault Pendulum and tried explaining it to the kids.

At last!

Clearly, Kennady wanted to be in the picture, so I obliged her.  LOL

I didn't expect to be allowed to take pictures in the exhibit itself, but it turned out that we could photograph most of the other artifacts, just not the scroll fragments or anything in that room.  The pictures didn't turn out great because of low lighting and the fact that I was usually at an awkward angle or something.  I have to say that I didn't think the displays were organized as well as they could be for viewing.  It was crowded - lots of people wanting to see this exhibit! - and the lines past the display cases moved with excruciating slowness, when they moved at all.  And unless you were in that 'front row' along the display case, it was very difficult to see the plaques explaining the artifacts.  But at least I have pictures to prove I was there!

There were a great many pots and jars, clay vessels of all kinds, and some coins. 

If I remember correctly, this particular jar was one that had a seal showing that it was used in the royal household, possibly Solomon's.

These are from small altars.

Even a bathtub from Dan! They think it was probably used in some ritual (maybe ritual bathing or something akin to a baptism?) but it's not certain.

Seeing the scroll fragments was very interesting, at least for me and hubster.  But of course, we had a good understanding of what we were seeing and appreciated the significance.  The kids didn't at this point, but I do hope that someday they will realize what a great opportunity they had to see them.  Again, I was disappointed at the way the display case was set up - it didn't seem to be very efficient at all, but I'm pretty sure this was the last stop on the travelling exhibit in the USA so offering my constructive criticism is unlikely to change anything! As if the curators were reading my blog anyway! LOL

We took another quick tour around the Franklin Institute before we left.

Our final stop in the museum was the Sports Challenge exhibit, which the kids had really looked forward to.

They got to try figure skating...

rock climbing...

and surfing.

And they could measure how high they could jump.

I thought my boys had big feet, and I guess they do.  But check out Landon's shoe compared to Shaq's.  o.O

At risk of making this post much too long, I am also adding a link to my post about our first visit to the Franklin Institute: Philadelphia Freedom Part One.  About five years ago, I took Harrison and Spencer on a group trip to the Franklin Institute to see the exhibit of the treasures from King Tut's tomb.  What a contrast between the two exhibits!  The gold and wealth and luxury of ancient Egyptian royalty - the stark simplicity of the furnishings of Judean homes, and the dedication of the unknown scribes that copied and preserved the ancient Biblical texts, some of which give the account of the Exodus of the Jews from the land of Egypt.  

This is part of what I wrote in summarizing my thoughts about the King Tut exhibit:

What stood out to me was that the ancient Egyptians basically spent most of their lives planning their funerals and for the afterlife that they believed in.  They were sadly mistaken about what things would be needed for their eternity and how eternity would be spent, but no one could say that they did not prepare adequately!  I wondered how many people of our day and age give even a fraction of that amount of energy thinking ahead to what eternity will hold, and preparing for it.  How much of my time and treasure am I actively investing in eternity, and how much do I thoughtlessly squander on temporary things?  Things that won't last past next week.  Things that won't really satisfy.
Again, the contrast strikes me.  The people that preserved the Scriptures and other writings that we call the Dead Sea Scrolls devoted themselves wholly to their faith, and I wonder if they had any idea that they were leaving such a rich legacy for people who would come thousands of years later.

 Please visit Ben and Me: F is for Frankfort to join in and to see what thoughts this week's letter has prompted for other bloggers.
Blogging Through the Alphabet
To find out more about the Blogging through the Alphabet link-up, and how to participate, visit Ben and Me: Blogging Through The Alphabet


Unknown said...

Wow! What a fun trip... wish we lived closer to museums like this! Stopping by from Crew to say hello & follow. :)

Unknown said...

This is some fun stuff!! I am from the crew stopping by to follow.

Mama Of Many Blessings said...

I sure looks like you had a great time, we had the Dead Sea Scrolls come through town a while back and the kids had a great time seeing them! Stopping over from the Crew and now a new follower!! Have a blessed week!!


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