RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) When ancient Near Eastern civilizations fought their adversaries they used swords, spears and arrows. But how did they make these weapons, how much damage did they do, and how did kings supply their far-flung troops?
A new, multidimensional exhibit at the Western Science Center in Hemet, in partnership with La Sierra University, helps answer these and other questions through a display of ancient weapons and cultural artifacts, audio-visual media and a hands-on weapons replica table. Visitors experience the sights and sounds of ancient war, preparations for battle, learn about the rituals performed before going to war, and ways in which ancient wars impacted history.
The exhibit, “Weapons & War in the Iron Age,” is comprised of artifacts from La Sierra’s extensive collection, some excavated by La Sierra archaeologists from ancient sites in Jordan, and some from sites in Israel and Palestine. Most of the artifacts, including arrows, spears and swords, date from 1200BC to 600BC during the Iron Age of the Near East when iron became the prevalent material in making tools and weapons.
“Weapons & War in the Iron Age” will run through the fall. Western Science Center admission is adults $8; senior citizens and students $6.50; youth $6; children age four and under free; active-duty military free. The science center is located at 2345 Searl Parkway, Hemet. For additional information call 951-791-0033, or visit www.WesternScienceCenter.org. Hours are Tues. – Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Bank of Hemet and Eric and Gisela Gosch are sponsoring the exhibit.
The science center held an opening reception on June 21 attended by La Sierra archaeology professors, science center board directors and visitors.
Bill Marshall, a member of the center’s Board of Directors and a retired superintendent of the San Jacinto Unified School District described the Weapons & War exhibit as “fascinating,” particularly as it reveals the productivity of past civilizations. “I’ve always …believed you can learn from what people did in the past. It’s wise to know where you came from and what people did prior to you,” said Marshall.