Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hecht Museum

I'm a lightweight when it comes to drinking and last night I had a little too much wine. I awoke this morning with a killer migraine, took some pills and waited. By the time I was ready to roll it was already 9am. So I decided that instead of hitting one of the sites I would go instead to look at the Hecht Museum.

The Hecht Museum is on the campus of the University of Haifa - the world's thinnest university. You can see the building from almost anywhere in the north. It sticks up like a sore thumb from the top of the Carmel. I took a nice drive out there on my own, driving through Beit Oren, a road I used to love when I studied up in Haifa, millions of years ago.
Like I said, the thinnest university in the world.
Their prize exhibit is the "Maagan Mikhael Boat". They found this 2400 year old ship off Kibbutz Maagan Mikhael in 1985. They rescued it, treated it with lots of PEG and built the museum pretty much around it. It is a wonderful thing.
Another view of the boat. It's 12.5M long and 4M wide and carried about 15 tons of cargo. Very cool.
This is a model of the famous "4 room" house type that was typical of this area. I have seen lots of stone remains of these houses and it was nice to see a model of what they looked like when built.
This is a little model of a Phoenician ship. It was found on one of the shipwrecks that line the coast.
A nice display of woodworking tools. I have a passion for these.
I thought this little carved statue of a cosmetic spoon in the shape of a swimming girl holding a duck was very nice indeed. It comes from the 18-19th Egyptian Dynasty (14-12 centuries BCE).
This latrine (or toilet) comes from the City of David and is dated to the late 7th Century BCE. When they analyzed the poop around it, two types of parasitic eggs (tapeworms and whipworms) were identified. So the toilet users clearly has some stomach issues.
This is a panoramic view of Haifa from the Museum's windows. Quite nice I think.

I liked the museum very much. It's not too big so you don't get exhausted and there is no sensory overload that is typical of huge museums. The problem with a lot of the collection is that it was built around Mr. Hecht's donated artifacts and they do not seem to have a lot of provenance (where they came from). So while there are nice pieces, I would like to have an idea where they were found (or looted).

Anyway, it is well work a visit and it's free.

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