How The Milwaukee Public Museum Created An Environment That Looked And Felt 2,000 Years Old

The exhibits staff of the Milwaukee Public Museum created the artificial stones for the cave and walkway in the exhibit area. The staff first made CAD drawings, then accomplished the work in their own workshops. Emilio Bras, the coordinator for this exhibit, listed the steps he and his team followed:

Cut the polystyrene to desired size and shape, rough cut the edges and create abrasions with edge of saw or other sharp instrument.
After you have achieved the desired effect, coat with Foamcoat and while the Foamcoat is still wet, sprinkle the sand to cover. You may use different color sand to highlight areas on the stone. Touch over any areas that were missed after drying.
For a stronger cover we applied two coats. Allowing the first one to dry before applying the second and then the sand.
Shake the loose sand off on a tarp and seal with a water soluble acrylic, if desired.
Install the finished stone.

Milwaukee Public Museum's recreation of the Qumran cave entrance to the Dead Sea. This entrance is 14' wide and 13' high.

Recreation of the Lions Gate arch.

Inside detail of the Qumran cave.