The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum in West Branch will open a new temporary exhibit “Written in Stone: The Rosetta Stone Exhibit” on April 13. It will run through Oct. 27. The exhibit will feature an exact replica made from a cast of the original Rosetta Stone, which resides at the British Museum.
The Rosetta Stone Exhibit explores ancient civilizations that arose in the Middle East. Numerous examples of sculpture, writing, pottery, jewelry and ordinary household items reflect how each ancient empire mined and forged metals for their own purposes.
These rare relics have survived from the dawn of civilization. From ancient Sumer to the Holy Land, the progression of urban life is traced through pottery, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, bronze and marble sculpture, currency and weaponry from its origins in early Mesopotamia to Canaan, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, Palestine, Israel and Rome. Recovered from the same period and region as the treasures of the Baghdad Museum, this timeline of authentic artifacts includes some of the oldest idols and sacred representations of deities ever found. The collection not only features a rare cast of the famous Rosetta Stone, but also a replica of the Phaestos Disc.
The Hoovers traveled throughout Egypt and the Middle East region and always harbored an interest in archaeology. The exhibit will include displays about Herbert and Lou’s work of translating De Re Metallica, the first book on mining based on field research and observation, and treasures that they collected while traveling through Egypt, including pieces from Lou’s jewelry collection.