EDMOND—The Central Oklahoma Frontier Country tourism association presented its “Outstanding Temporary Exhibit Award” to the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation on June 14 in recognition of the foundation’s “Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered” archaeology exhibit at Armstrong Auditorium.
The cultural foundation and several other organizations and businesses were recognized at the Frontier Country Marketing Association’s 2019 annual meeting and awards luncheon at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Shawnee.
“It’s very special to be recognized by Oklahoma’s tourism professionals, especially among such a field of distinguished nominees,” said Shane Granger, the foundation’s public relations and marketing director. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to curate and exhibit such incredibly rare artifacts. I know the entire Armstrong team, both in Oklahoma and in Jerusalem, are grateful for the honor to share them with the world—and this recognition is just the cherry on top.”
The Outstanding Temporary Exhibit Award is the second tourism-related honor for the foundation. In 2014, Armstrong Auditorium won the “Outstanding New Attraction” Redbud Award from the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association.
“Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered” was open from June 10, 2018, to April 1, 2019, and featured 2,700-year-old clay seal impressions from Jerusalem that once belonged to King Hezekiah and a contemporary named Isaiah, almost certainly Isaiah the Prophet. It also featured about 30 other exhibits from the time period as well as replicas and other educational displays.
The cultural foundation continues the legacy of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, which supported the work of Mazar’s grandfather, Prof. Benjamin Mazar, from 1968 to 1976, and of Dr. Yigal Shiloh from 1980 to 1985. Mazar’s granddaughter, Dr. Eilat Mazar, began her archaeological excavations in Jerusalem in 1986. The Armstrong International Cultural Foundation has supported her work since 2006 with funding, laborers and publishing support. Among Mazar’s discoveries are King David’s Palace, Nehemiah’s wall, the bullae of Gedaliah and Jehucal (exhibited at Armstrong Auditorium from 2012-2015), King Solomon’s wall, the Ophel treasure, Jewish revolt coins, the bullae of Isaiah and King Hezekiah, and other finds.