Neighboring Cultures | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem



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To the accessibility map of the Museum
We strive to make the Museum as accessible as possible for disabled visitors
  • Marked handicapped parking is available near the main entrance to the Museum, and the Second Temple Model.
  • An audio system for the hearing-impaired is available at ticket counters.
  • Counters are wheelchair accessible.
  • Discounts on admission to holders of a disabled identification card.
  • Discounts on admission to wheelchair users (admission is free to an escort).
  • Free admission to blind and visually impaired visitors and their escort.
The Campus
  • Entrance to the Museum and interior passages are wheelchair accessible.
  • Wheelchairs and lockers are available in the entrance pavilion.
  • A cloakroom and folding chairs are available near the elevators.
  • A transit vehicle for four is available to those who have difficulty walking through the Route of Passage.
  • Elevators, stair lifts, and ramps are available in the various galleries (* there is no Shabbat elevator)
  • Museum’s restaurants and shops are wheelchair accessible.
  • Maps in various languages are available (details at the Information Desk).
  • Wheelchair accessible stalls are available in rest rooms.
Art Garden
* The Art Garden is inaccessible to wheelchair users (observation points overlook the garden).
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Opening Hours

Free entrance for children under 18 (excluding groups and workshops) on Tues, and Sat thoughout the year, courtesy of the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum and David and Inez Myers, Cleveland, Ohio

Free entrance for soldiers doing compulsory military service and for those doing National Service, courtesy of Israeli Friends of the Israel Museum

Rockefeller Museum is closed on Tues, Fri, and Holiday Eves
Ticho House is closed on Saturdays


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Ticho House

Sun to Thurs 12 pm - 8 pm
Fri and holiday eves 10 am - 2 pm
​Sat closed

10 HaRav Agan Street
Tel: 645 3746,

Rockefeller Museum

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 am – 3 pm
Sat 10 am – 2 pm
Closed Tues, Fri and Holiday Eves

27 Sultan Suleiman St.
Tel: 628 2251

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Museum Gallery Map
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Directions and Transportation

Find Us
The Israel Museum is located in Jerusalem on 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Hakyria, near the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
POB 71117
Jerusalem, 9171002
Tel: 972-2-670-8811
Fax: 972-2-677-1332
By Bus
Bus lines: 7, 9, 14, 35, 66
Direct from Tel Aviv, line 100 from Shapirim Junction Parking
Information and schedules »
or dial Kol Kav *8787
By Car
Parking for cars and bicycles outside the Museum
GPS - Avraham Granot Street
WAZE - Israel Museum
Parking available for Museum visitors. Limited number of parking spaces.
Museum visitors are requested to retain entrance tickets, or receipts from Museum stores, or restaurants for presentation at the exit booth of the parking lot.
Ticho House
10 HaRav Agan Street, Jerusalem
Free entrance 
Tel: 02 645-3746 
The Rockefeller Museum
POB 71117
91710 Jerusalem 
Tel: for groups: 02 670-8074
Fax: 02 670-8063
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Modern, the Museum's kosher meat restaurant, is designed in an early modernist style. It offers contemporary Jerusalem cuisine and a rich collection of quality wines. Adjoining a plaza and overlooking the Valley of the Cross, this restaurant specializes in hosting private and business events. 
Modern is kosher meat, under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. Dining in the restaurant does not require purchase of an admissions ticket to the Museum. Museum members and Friends of the Israel Museum are entitled to a 10% discount. 
Parking is free and the restaurant is accessible to all. 
Open: Sun, Mon, Wed,Thurs from 11:30 am - 5 pm, Tues 11:30 am - 11 pm, Fri 10 am - 2 pm 
For inquiries: 02 648-0862.
To arrange events: 054-778-8558; 054-304-0279; 
See Modern's website »

Mansfeld, the Museum's dairy cafés, are named after Al Mansfeld, the first architect of the Israel Museum and winner of the Israel Prize for Architecture for his design of the Museum. The café's rich menu includes home-baked goods, cakes, sandwiches, salads and hot dishes. The café is suitable for hosting private events.
Mansfeld is kosher dairy under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. 
Dining in the café does not require purchase of an admissions ticket to the Museum. Museum members and Friends of the Israel Museum are entitled to a 10% discount. 
Parking is free and the restaurant is accessible to all. 
Open: Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 8 am - 5 pm | Tues 8 am - 9 pm | Fri 8 am - 2 pm. 
For inquiries: 02 563-6280; Fax: 02 561-8399;
To arrange events: 054-884-7133 or 050-997-8800
See Mansfeld's website »

Chic Café
Chic Café is a dairy café located at the entrance to the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Model. The menu includes fine coffee and cold drinks, sandwiches, salads (soups in the winter), cakes, ice cream and snacks. 
Dining in the café does not require purchase of an admissions ticket to the Museum. Museum members and Friends of the Israel Museum are entitled to a 10% discount. 
Parking is free and the restaurant is accessible to all. 
Open Sun Mon Wed Thurs 8 am - 5 pm; Tues 8 am - 6 pm; Fri 8 am - 2 pm, Sat 8 am - 5 pm 
Cafe Tel: 02 633-2555,


Anna Italian Café 

Ticho House
10 HaRav Agan Street
Sun – Thurs 9 am – 11 pm 
Fri 9 am – 3 pm 
Kosher dairy, Jerusalem Rabbinate 
Tel: 02 543-4144

Anna Italian Café »

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Museum Information
Please feel free to contact Museum Information with any questions.
Tel: 02 670-8811
Cloakroom and folding chairs
A cloakroom and folding chairs are available at the end of the Route of Passage, next to the elevators. Please inquire at the Information Desk.
Wheelchairs and disabled access
Wheelchairs are available in the Entrance Pavilion. Please inquire at the Information Desk for details. Much of the Israel Museum is wheelchair-accessible, and an ongoing renovation program continues to improve access for the disabled. Wheelchair-accessible places include the entrance pavilion, the Shrine of the Book, and the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. Download the PDF accessibility map of the campus. Accessibility in the Museum »
Parking available for Museum visitors. Limited number of parking spaces. Museum visitors are requested to retain entrance tickets, or receipts from Museum stores or restaurants for presentation at the exit booth of the parking lot. Bicycle parking Available in the entrance plaza of the Museum
Audio guides
Audio guides for some permanent exhibitions in selected languages are included in the Museum entrance fee and are available at the Entrance Pavilion. The exhibitions include: The Shrine of the Book, the Second Temple Model and the Art Garden. Audio guides are also appropriate for hearing impaired visitors.
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Museum Stores

Shop online

We are committed to bringing you the best that Israel has to offer. Whether you’re looking for exquisite jewelry made with materials unique to Israel, organic farm-fresh preserves, world-renowned Dead Sea skincare or home décor from internally acclaimed Israeli artists, we’ll send it to you straight from Israel.

Go Shopping »

Take the Museum experience home with you

Everyone buys gifts, but only at the Israel Museum shops do they come with a story. Each story reveals a new, and exciting world - all inspired by from the vast and unique collections of the Museum, from both the permanent exhibitions and special exhibitions. Discover the story behind specially-produced articles to make your your Museum experience linger on.

* Special benefits and discounts for Museum Members and an additional 10% discount on all products.

Be inspired
Discover items inspired by the Shrine of the Book, the Ahava (Love) sculpture from the Art Garden, a wide range of Judaica items; Hanukkah menorahs, wine cups, candlesticks, and more. Choose from the many children's products, as well as the exclusive and distinctive jewelry created by top Israeli and international designers.
Museum Stores
The three stores are located: at the entrance to the Second Temple Model, on the central cardo of the Museum opposite the Bella and Harry Wexner Gallery, and the main store in the entrance pavilion. No entrance fee required to the main store and parking is free!
Israel Museum Products, Ltd.
Israel Museum Products, Ltd. is an Israel Museum commercial corporation which operates three stores on the Museum campus. The company holds exclusive rights to create products for the Israel Museum inspired by the Museum's collection of unique items and temporary exhibitions. The company is committed to the inclusion of disadvantaged sectors, both in its stores and among workers involved in the product development and manufacture, in cooperation with various foundations and the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Special benefits and discounts for Museum Members and an additional 10% discount on all products.
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Benifits, discounts and special activities
Check the Member's Page for ongoing Membership benefits: exhibitions pre-openings just for members, special lectures, guided tours in the Museum and at other cultural institutions, discounts and more.
Give a Museum Membership to those you love - the gift that people love to get.
Purchase a membership for a friend and gain an additional month on your own membership for free. Please call for more details Tel: 02 670-8855
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Purchase tickets online to the Museum and events
Full-cost tickets may be purchased online or at the box office. Please note that discount tickets for children and youth, students, seniors, disabled visitors, IDF soldiers, National Service personnel, repeat visits within three months, and Jerusalem Resident cardholders are available only at the box office.







Children and teens (aged 5 to 17)  Free on Tues and Sat  (except groups and workshops)


Senior Citizen (Upon presentation of official Israeli Ezrach Vatik ID)
(Cannot be purchased online)


Senior Citizen (Upon presentation of official Senior Citizen International ID)
(Cannot be purchased online)




Soldier / National Service (Upon presentation of suitable ID)


Repeat Visit (within 3 months) (No double discounts)


Free admission for children (aged 5 to 17) throughout August (does not apply to groups and does not include performances and workshops)


Leumi 1+1 cardholders, Discount on tickets purchased in advance on the Leumi Card website, (No double discounts)

Please note: Tickets to the Museum are valid for two years from the date of purchase.
For information about special cultural events and purchasing tickets online »
Free audio guide for hearing impaired visitors included with all tickets.

Terms and conditions

  • Tickets may be purchased online only at full cost for adults
  • Collection of tickets is conditional upon presentation of the credit card used to purchase the tickets
  • A ticket is valid until the stub is torn from the ticket or until the bar code is scanned at the entrance to the Museum
  • A ticket is valid only for one admission and one reentry on the day of the visit
  • There are no multiple discounts
  • Admission tickets to the Museum do not include admission to events, performances, or workshops to which additional fees are charged
  • Possession of an admission ticket only permits the visitor to enter the Museum campus 
  • Tickets may be collected at the ticket office or at automated ticket vendors, located at the Museum Entrance Pavilion

Neighboring Cultures


Since ancient times neighboring cultures exerted their influence on the land of Israel, located at the crossroads between them. The galleries, devoted to the neighboring cultures, offer the visitor a broad historical and cultural overview of the region, revealing the fascinating range of relations between the Land of Israel, and its neighbors.

Selected objects and artworks, dating from the 7th millennium BCE to the 19th century CE, recount the story of these cultures. These include, for example, human and animal shaped objects found in ancient Egyptian tombs displayed in the gallery dedicated to Egypt of the Pharaohs; reliefs depicting historical  rulers and various rites from the ancient Near East exhibited in the gallery displaying treasures from Mesopotamia (Iraq), Persia (Iran), the Levant (Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus), Anatolia (Turkey), and the Southern Arabian Peninsula; elaborate Greek vases decorated with figures of gods, monsters and heroes located in the gallery representing the Greek world; impressive marble sculptures created by the peoples of Italy; and tools and manuscripts, decorated with magnificent Arabic calligraphy, located in the gallery of the Islamic Near East.

Each gallery correlates to the adjacent Land of Israel galleries thus highlighting the close inter-relations between the cultures; extensive trade relations, migrations and conquests, all resulting in cultural, economic, and religious ties between the peoples of the Land of Israel and those of its neighboring cultures. These are reflected in the objects which reveal many similarities and mutual influences, tell the story of people living side by side, and offer the visitor an extensive in-depth overview of the entire region.

Egypt of the Pharaohs

Funerary stele of the priest Hor, depicted presenting offerings to two manifestations of the sun god, Egypt, 7th-6th century BCE, Painted wood
Gift of Abraham Guterman, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Egypt of the Pharaohs

The 4th millennium BCE – 4th century CE

For over 3,000 years Egypt, the great kingdom south of Israel, was governed by omnipotent kings, the Pharaohs. They ruled over the vast territory of Egypt – from the Nile Delta in Lower Egypt to the Kingdom of Kush in Upper Egypt.

The kingdom's administration class became an elite group, enjoying special material and religious privileges, including the right to commemorate the dead in sculptures and inscriptions, as the Pharaohs did. A typical example of this is reflected in the funerary stele of a priest, showing him conveying his offerings to the sun god.

The desire to achieve eternal life, which was shared by all ancient Egyptians, is expressed in their monumental temples and magnificent tombs. These places were decorated with reliefs and filled with sculptures of the deceased king, such as the head of the king, displayed here, which was part of a larger statue.

The ancient Egyptians attached prime importance to the successful transition to the afterlife. They embalmed the body and kept it in decorated coffins, such as the sarcophagus that held a boy’s mummified body. The internal organs were removed, and placed in four canopic jars, each bearing the head of one of Horus’ sons. Four such jars from the scribe Ahmose’s tomb, seventh century BCE, are displayed in the gallery.

The Egyptian pantheon was inhabited by many gods and goddesses, each of whom carried their prescribed role, with some of the roles overlapping. Among the major divinities were Osiris and his wife/sister Isis, shown in a bronze statuette where she can be seen spreading her wings over him for protection.

The ancient Egyptians left a wealth of written material, mostly in sacred, hieroglyphic script. These writings convey their way of life to us, as well as their rituals, and the major historic events of the period.

 Dr. Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen Curator of Egyptian Archaeology

Ancient Near East

Wall relief depicting a stylized date palm flanked by protective genies Nimrud, Assyria, Reign of Ashurnasirpal II, 883-859 BCE, Alabaster, Gift of Baron and Baroness Edmond de Rothschild, Paris

Ancient Near East

The 7th millennium BCE – early 7th century CE

Ancient Near East, or Western Asia - an area also known as "The Fertile Crescent" – extended from the eastern Mediterranean shores to the Persian Gulf.  Over six thousand years ago, this region was the cradle of civilization. It was here that systematic agriculture was first practiced, the wheel was invented, complex urban societies developed, and the most ancient literary works were written.

It is in this area that the first kingdoms and empires were established. Although early kings considered themselves as divine, later on monarchs were perceived as all-powerful mortals, elected by the gods to rule over humans. Many objects on display illustrate kings in various aspects (victorious conqueror, pious worshiper, brave hunter, etc.), such as a rock relief depicting king Iddin-Sin, King of Simurrum trampling over his enemy before a goddess (ca. 2000 BCE); the unique stele of  Tiglath-Pileser III, the founder of the great Assyrian Empire, showing him worshipping divine symbols (737 BCE); and a relief portraying the Sasanian king Shappur I holding a spear, most likely hunting (probably a 19th century Qajar imitation of a royal image of the 3rd and 4th century).

The people believed that the humans were created by gods out of clay, mixed with divine blood and spit, in order to serve them. From written sources we know that there were hundreds of gods and goddesses, each responsible for a different realm. These deities, portrayed in human or symbolic form, coexisted with sundry hybrid demons and monsters – malevolent or benevolent. One of the most known of these fabulous creatures was the giant Humbaba, guardian of the Cedar Forest of Lebanon and the fierce enemy of Gilgamesh, the ancient Near Eastern hero par excellence, depicted on a protective clay plaque (2nd millennium BCE).

Ancient Near Eastern imagery was based on man’s natural environment. Thus the tree, a widespread symbol of fertility deities, can be seen on the wall relief from the palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BCE), in which two winged creatures stand on either side of a stylized palm tree, perhaps pollinating it. The bull was another common symbol of fertility, virility and potency. On a relief dated to the 2nd – the 3rd century CE, the Persian god Mithra is shown killing a bull, an act of ultimately strength and courage. Women’s depictions, mostly in their powerful erotic nakedness, were especially prevalent. The "nude woman" icon, typical to ancient Near East, is exemplified in the gallery by many representations belonging to various cultures and periods, as shown by a clay figurine from Elam (14th–12th century BCE).

The rich variety of artifacts from this area, dating from prehistoric times to the emergence of Islam, sheds light on the beliefs and customs of the civilizations that rose and fell in the many different regions of the ancient Near East. They illustrate, to a certain extent, the enormous influence of neighboring cultures, notably that of Mesopotamia, exerted on the world of ideas and material culture of ancient Israel.

 Laura A. Peri, Rodney E. Soher Curator of Western Asiatic Antiquities

The Greek World

Attic black-figure column krater (deep bowl for mixing wine and water) with a scene from the myth of the Rape of Europa Athens, Greece, Late Archaic Period, ca. 520-510 BCE, Pottery
Gift of the Coplin and Beningson Families, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, in memory of Irwin Coplin

The Greek World

The 3rd millennium BCE – 1st century BCE
Greek art appeared in Bronze Age civilizations (3rd millennium BCE) with the near abstract Cycladic figurines. These figurines were made of marble, and were used mainly in funerary contexts. When the early civilizations collapsed, Greece went through a Dark Age and artistic expression declined.

Greek art reappears in the Geometric Period (9th – 8th centuries BCE). This style is characterized by geometric composition and a sense of order. A jewelry box with two sculpted horse figurines on its lid as a handle, demonstrates how the pattern was used to cover the entire surface of the object to which these kinds of scenes were sometimes added.

The Archaic period (7th century BCE) came next, characterized by the development of ceramic art, sculpture, and the development of techniques in bronze production. The human figure gradually became the central theme, and sculpture was constantly seeking its ideal proportions: “man as the measure of all things”. Black-figures drawn against a reddish background was the predominant method of decorating pottery. A typical example of this style can be seen in an amphora, on which Dionysus, the god of wine is depicted here, dancing with two naked mythical creatures

Greece reached its cultural peak in the Classical period (5th– 4th century BCE to). Artists crafted the ideal human figure, in perfect proportion, in natural poses, and with delicately fashioned faces. A Head of a Youth, a fragment from a funerary stele, encompasses these qualities.

The Hellenistic period starts with the conquests of Alexander the Great (336–323 BCE), and Greek culture spread to the areas he conquered. The Artistic style becomes more realistic, and sculpture focuses on realism and motion, as clearly seen in the statue of Aphrodite holding an apple.

The encounter between the Greek conquerors and the subjected nations resulted in a fascinatingly, eclectic art. Many artifacts from the period reflect the mutual influences between culture, religion and Greek art and their local counterparts. The Comic Theater mask of a slave, produced in Alexandria, Egypt is a fine example of the Greek style.

 Galit Bennett-Dahan, Rodney E. Soher Curator of Classical Archaeology

The Peoples of Italy

Fragment of a wall painting depicting a flying Eros or Cupid, Boscotrecase, Italy, Early Fourth Style, ca. 50 CE, Gift of Dr. Eli Borowski, Jerusalem, in memory of his son, Zeev Reuven

The Peoples of Italy

The 8th century BCE – 6th century CE

Italy was home to many different peoples of diverse origin, and culture. They lived side by side and flourished there; each leaving its distinctive artistic mark on the culture. Their combined influence produced impressive artistic results. The gallery presents a selection of remarkable items reflecting the unique style of each group, and the art works in which the various influences converge.

At the beginning of the first millennium BCE, the original population of Italy, whose origins are not known, were joined by newcomers who came to the south of Italy and the surrounding islands. Phoenicians, and Punics brought eastern culture with them; the Greeks brought theirs. Southern Italy and Sicily came to be known as Magna Grecia (Greater Greece) exerting profound influence on the rest of Italy, notably on the artistic realm.

Examples of Greek art that the settlers brought with them are on display in the gallery and include both the typical ceramic vessels, and the bust of a goddess, probably Persephone - related to mystery fertility rites.

Central and Northern Italy was settled by peoples of other cultures, attracted to the region by its metal ores. The Etruscans were the most important group, singled out by their customs, and influencing central Italy in its early days.  Most Etruscan finds come from tombs, including weapons, decorated belts, and bronze jewelry buried alongside the dead.

Between Etruria in central Italy and Magna Grecia in the south, lay Latium, inhabited by Latin speaking Italian communities. Towards the end of the 8th century BCE their power grew, especially that of one village, which was to become the city of Rome.

According to tradition, Rome was ruled by Etruscan kings in the 8th – 7th century BCE. Only in the 6th century BCE were they overthrown, and Rome became a small independent republic. The young republic grew stronger, and by the end of the first century BCE it dominated the Mediterranean world. Rome ruled until the 6th century CE. A magnificent mural showing a flying Cupid, was found in a sumptuously decorated Pompeian villa is a prime example of Roman art at its best. Another typical object, used to advertise power and government can be noted in Emperor Tiberius’ portrait, which well exemplify the Greek influences in Roman portraiture.

 Galit Bennett-Dahan, Rodney E. Soher Curator of Classical Archaeology

Islamic Near East

Islamic Near East

The 8th century – 19th century

In the 7th century CE, in the Arabian Peninsula, a new monotheistic religion emerged, posed to change the course of history – Islam. Shortly after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of the religion, the Arab believers set out on a conquest campaign, and within less than a century Islamic rule spread from Spain in the west, to India in the east.

Muslim culture was a product of the fusion of traditions and cultures; the Arabic language and their new religion, with Classical and Persian traditions. All of these produced a new and unique art form – Islamic art.

The objects in the gallery were made in different periods mainly in Iran and other countries in Asia. Despite the geographic spread and the long stretch of time they share many characteristics: first and foremost the use of Arabic calligraphy as a major decorative element. The texts used are verses from the Koran, like those found on the mihrab (prayer niche) and on the two large wall tiles in the gallery. Other typical decorations include adorning objects with poetry, proverbs and blessings for the owners, like the 14th century metal bowl; decorating with the arabesque – an endless motif consisting of intricate flowers and leaves; geometric patterns; or figurative designs, banned from use in religious contexts, but common in secular art. Figurative art included animals and courtly scenes, like the hunting scene on the magnificent ceramic bowl on display in the gallery.

Some objects, such as the mihrab, were made for religious use. Others, mainly a variety of beautiful household items, were meant for use in rich dwellings. Although some of the objects are made from fairly simple materials, like ceramic and bronze, the rich and complex decoration lends them prestige, no less than silver and gold. Examples can be found in gilt luxury ceramics, bowls and jugs and bronze vessels which were inlaid with pieces of silver.

Late Islamic art shows the significant change in the style of Muslim painting and decoration, in the wake of European influences. Muslim elite coveted Western luxury objects and Muslim artists adapted their styles to their patrons’ new preferences and decorated their work in European spirit.

 Liza Lurie, Curator of Islamic Art and Archaeology