Kibbutz Ein Dor is nestled among farmlands at the foot of Mount Tabor, in the Lower Galilee. The small agricultural community was the first Jewish settlement founded after Israeli independence in 1948. The Kibbutz is home to the Kibbutz Ein Dor Archaeological Museum. It was established in 1986 to house ancient artifacts found in the Lower Galilee and Jezreel Valley. On display are historic agricultural tools, and items people used in their day-to-day lives hundreds of years ago. The exhibits come from various historic periods and different cultures. But the museum aims to do much more than simply display archaeological artifacts. Ein Dor Museum is not just a collection of pottery shards and ancient stones. It aspires to encourage coexistence between the diverse cultures living in the region.
The archaeological museum uses interactive exhibits, workshops, outdoor exhibits, and state-of-the-art displays to nurture regional coexistence. The museum teaches visitors about the cultural roots and challenges faced by people living here many years ago. A better understanding of their neighbors, their history, and mutual love for the land, should bring cultures together. Thousands of Arab and Jewish schoolchildren visit the Ein Dor Archaeological Museum each year and come away knowing a little more about the people they share the land with.
The interactive Peace Labyrinth exhibit is designed to teach children aged 10 to 16, about how conflict arises and how to resolve it. Explanations are displayed in Hebrew and Arabic. The exhibit is a labyrinth, with sections representing the four stages of a conflict. The award-winning Learning from the Past-Building Bridges Today exhibit promotes coexistence. Groups learn to better understand other cultures and their history, through archaeological artifacts.
The newest wing of the museum focuses on day-to-day activities in ancient cultures. It covers harvesting, preparing food, pressing olives for oil, and working in the olive groves. In the past, life was often determined by the seasons. With every season came new challenges and tasks. Visitors can try performing some of these seasonal tasks, like grinding wheat or tending the olive groves. This section of the museum gives new life to ancient festivals and celebrations, like the annual Olive Festival and the Milk and Honey Festival.
Visitors can take part in ancient crafts workshops and make olive oil, grind wheat into flour, or weave wool. This lets visitors feel what it was like to live in the Galilee hundreds of years ago. The craft workshops are determined by the ancient seasonal tasks and available natural resources. There are various activities focused on local culture, and religion, past, and present. Seeing archaeological artifacts, and ancient agricultural tools is interesting, but the lessons this museum gives, are worth much more. Ein Dor Archaeological Museum has won prizes for its educational activities and has been recognized for promoting the values of coexistence in the Jezreel Valley Region.