The Bowen Collection of Antiquities

In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bowen began compiling information and artifacts from Bible times for a museum that would “make the Bible come alive.” In addition to collecting antiquities from the Holy Land, the Bowen’s collection also contains items from cultures that have influenced life in the Holy Land, including Egyptian, Byzantine, Roman, Greek, Persian-Islamic, and Syrian.  From iridescent Roman glass vials and Roman jewelry found at Pompeii’s ruins to Egyptian ceremonial vessels and cosmetics, the collection invites visitors to relate to their counterparts from the past through the glimpses of life in ancient cultures.  Nearly 200 Egyptian objects in the collection were discovered and donated by Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, the world-renown English archaeologist.

The intellectual Babylonian, Sumerian, and Mesopotamian civilizations are represented by cuneiform writing examples supporting both world and Biblical history through items including clay tablets and a paver from the Ishtar gate inscribed with King Nebuchadnezzar’s name.

Jewish tradition is depicted through various means including a 121-foot long Yemenite Torah scroll dating from the 15th century. Other objects reveal the routine of daily life in Bible times including clay oil lamps, a Hebrew baby rattle from 1200 B.C., and standard measuring vessels.