I spent close to 2 hours at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit with a friend recently, enthalled by the ancient writings and artifacts that were displayed at the museum as part of a temporary exhibit.
Writing holds a special charm for me and so I was mesmerized by the sight of so many papers lined with tiny script that looked more like artwork than just writing. As I leaned over to get a better look, a guard came up to me to warn me not to lean on the cases which I was in the process of doing.
It took decades of meticulous work to put all those scraps (15,000 or so) of paper together to form the legible writings that I was staring at. And to think they were all hidden away in caves for hundreds and hundreds of years, discovered accidentally by a bedoin. What if he had taken his herd a different route that day? Or what if the paper had disintegrated in a dust storm? Would I have been standing there looking back into time with my jaw dropped open?
No, I'd probably be watching something dumb on TV. Real life, even if it's past real life, is SO much more interesting in person.