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'Once In A Lifetime' Display Of Dead Sea Scrolls To Be Replaced Soon

By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) - The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is in the middle of replacing 10 Dead Sea Scrolls currently on display with 10 new ones.

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(credit: CBS)

Robert Payo is one of the lead educators for the exhibit.

"It's a very rare opportunity to see these, things that many people will never have an opportunity to see," Payo said.

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CBS4's Karen Morfitt interviews Robert Payo. (credit: CBS)

The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known biblical documents dating back more than 2,000 years.

Payo says the artifacts are often sought out and bring thousands of people to the museum from around the world.

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(credit: CBS)

"Just the fascination of seeing things that people have left behind especially the scrolls and learning about what life was like then," he said.

Denver is only the 6th U.S. city to host the exhibit that can come with a time consuming setup -- and each scroll is replaced after three months.

DMNS Dead Sea Scrolls
DMNS Dead Sea Scrolls on Wednesday, March, 14 2018 in Denver. (Photo by Chris Schneider)

Pnina Shor is with the Israel Antiquities Authority, she is the curator and head of Dead Sea Scrolls projects.

She is overseeing the exchange of the scrolls currently on display at the museum.

"There's ten different units here and everyone is climate controlled. The readings are sent to us daily, to Israel so we can see," Shor said.

The scrolls being replaced will be put to rest for 5 years -- before being seen again.

Adding to the mystery of an exhibit that most will never get to see and those who do will hold with them long after they leave.

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(credit: CBS)

"I think they realize, really this is a once in a lifetime chance to see these scrolls face to face," Shor said.

This is the second set of scrolls:

    • 4Q418 Instruction to the one who understands (Musar leMevin)
      • First time on public display.
    • 4Q58 Isaiah
    • 11Q10 Job Targum
    • 4Q84 Psalms
    • 8Hev XI Plate 63/1 gr Minor Prophets
    • 5/6Hev 46 Lease of Land (Papyrus Bar Kokhba 46)
    • 4Q1 Genesis-Exodus
    • 4Q252 Genesis Commentary
    • 4Q256 Community Rule
    • 4Q386 Pseudo-Ezekiel

The new scrolls will be on display on June 11 until Sept. 3.

Timed tickets are required. Tickets are $25.95 each for adults, $21.95 for seniors (age 65+), $17.95 for children ages 3–18. Students receive 10 percent off adult admission with their ID. All tickets include general Museum admission. Museum members receive discounted admission. Group pricing is available.

For tickets and information, call 303-370-6000 or visit

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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