Houses of Ancient Israel

  • Photograph of Iron Age Israelite House Replica

The Houses of Ancient Israel closes on October 15, 2019 for gallery renovations.

The Houses of Ancient Israel: Domestic, Royal, Divine offers a view of life in an ancient Near Eastern agricultural society. The exhibit contains a full scale replica of an ancient Israelite home. The exhibit is arranged in terms of the buildings - the houses - associated with the different levels of that society: family dwelling, palace and temple.

This arrangement parallels the ancients' own view of their social organization as a three-tiered hierarchy of nested households, where each level of the hierarchy was contained within the next higher level.

In archaeological terms, The Houses of Ancient Israel: Domestic, Royal, Divine focuses on the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE), during which the monarchy of ancient Israel emerged. The kingdom was located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, and was divided between Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The area roughly corresponds to the modern state of Israel.