The Dan David Archaeology Building will cover an area of c. 20,000 square meters and will occupy the eastern building of the Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel
The Dan David Archaeology Building will cover an area of c. 20,000 square meters and will occupy the eastern building of the Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, currently under construction on Museum Hill
The Dan David Foundation will donate an especially generous contribution for the construction of the building which will be the main venue of the Israel Antiquities Authority for the exhibition of the archaeological heritage of Israel and the archaeological work of the Authority, and will be a world center for researchers and visitors.
The Dan David Archaeology Building will be constructed in the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel which is being built on Museum Hill opposite the Knesset, between the Israel Museum and the Bible Lands Museum, and overlooking the Hebrew University Botanical Gardens.
According to Shuka Dorfman, director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is the largest and most important project to be established in Jerusalem in this decade – for the glory of the city of Jerusalem and the State of Israel, as a country that supports culture and heritage”.
In addition to housing nearly two million archaeological objects in the Shelby White Center for National Treasures, and the largest collection of Dead Sea Scrolls in the Rennert Center for Dead Sea Scrolls , the Dan David Archaeology Building will be home to Israel's main archaeological library, viewable conservation and restoration centers, exhibition galleries and a roof top exhibition garden, an open courtyard with a rain-water pool, an archaeological education center, a café and more.
Through the creation of bridges and glass-paneled walls in the Dan David Building the general public will be able to observe for the first time the work being conducted in the laboratories and be impressed by the enormity of the approximately two million archaeological objects that make up the National Treasures.
The plan of the 35,000 sq. meter Campus, designed by architect Moshe Safdie, is based on making the buildings a metaphor for archaeological excavations: the buildings in the campus are arranged around three courtyards built on three descending levels. A dark canopy, reminiscent of the tent-like canopies used to shade archaeological excavations, will cover the main courtyard of the Dan David Building, which will serve as an open archaeological garden. A ring-like opening in the canopy will allow rainwater to drain into a pool located below in the courtyard, thus creating a cascade of water. The Campus will serve as the national venue for the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of the archaeology of the Land of Israel. It will be the largest center in the world for the housing and display of Israel’s archaeological heritage, including all of its cultures, and will constitute a home for archaeologists and archaeology enthusiasts from Israel and abroad.
Hundreds of millions of shekels were raised from twenty-six donors and the State of IsraeI for the purpose of establishing the Campus. An extraordinarily generous contribution of tens of millions of shekels by the Dan David Foundation for the main building in the Campus is a significant part of the overall project budget estimated at more than three hundred million shekels.