When you imagine a classically “deep south” town, LaGrange, Georgia, about an hour south of Atlanta along I-85, is probably pretty close to the picture in your mind. Founded in 1828, its got the antebellum architecture, towering magnolias and oaks, and a beautiful downtown relatively unchanged since it was laid out, with a picturesque fountain as its centerpiece. But this Southern small town is able to boast history reaching back much farther in time. Explorations in Antiquity is an educational center featuring life-sized historically accurate replicas of what life was like in the ancient Middle East in both Old and New Testament times. The walk-through living history museum focuses on academia and archaeology rather than theology, and exhibits The Life of the Shepherd, The Life of the Farmer and The Life of The Village, as well as a Roman amphitheater and market street all in the Archaeological Garden. Founded in 2005 by archaeologist Dr. James Fleming, the Center follows in the footsteps of previous institutions founded by Fleming in Israel, where he lived and worked for nearly 40 years, but is unique to the United States. Explorations in Antiquity is proud to be the home of the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery, featuring more than 250 artifacts comprising a collection on long-term loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) unlike any other in the Southeast. Only six other museums worldwide have been selected to receive such a loan from the IAA, the only other American museums being The Jewish Museum in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Skirball Museum in Los Angeles. When you visit Explorations, make a reservation to experience a Biblical meal presentation in one of two rooms at the Center constructed to replicate meal rooms found at Pompeii and Herculaneum in ancient Rome. Guests can experience a presentation of fifteen historically-accurate foods while lounging on one arm as the ancients did, or while sitting up as we do in modern times.
Explorations in Antiquity is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and welcomes groups as well as families and individuals. Staff suggests that visitors set aside an hour and 45 minutes to explore all of the museum’s exhibits. Walk-ins can tour the Time Tunnel, Artifact Gallery and Archaeological Garden on their own; arrangements can also be made for docent-led group tours. The Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery Exhibit is included with admission to the Archeological Garden, which is $15 for adults and $12 for kids ages 6-12. Admission is free for kids 5 and under. Kid’s events such as Archaeological Digs and a Shepherd’s Breadmaking Experience are available for groups. A fifteen food item Biblical Meal is $30 for adults and $18 for children under 12, and includes admission into the museum and all the archeological replicas and outdoor exhibits. Visit www.explorationsinantiquity.com for a calendar of events and contact information.