Dead Sea Scroll scans to be published online | World news | The Guardian   Leave a comment

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Dead Sea Scroll scans to be published online | World news | The Guardian.

via Dead Sea Scroll scans to be published online | World news | The Guardian.

High-resolution images of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls are to be published on the internet, it was announced today.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), custodian of the scrolls that shed light on the life of Jews and early Christians at the time of Jesus, said it was collaborating with Google’s research and development centre in Israel to upload digitised images of the entire collection.

Advanced imaging technology will be installed in the IAA’s laboratories early next year and high-resolution images of each of the scrolls’ 30,000 fragments will be freely accessible online. The IAA conducted a pilot imaging project of a similar nature in 2008.

“The images will be equal in quality to the actual physical viewing of the scrolls, thus eliminating the need for re-exposure of the scrolls and allowing their preservation for future generations,” the IAA said in a statement.

It said the new technology would help to make clear writing that has faded over the centuries, and would promote further research into one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century.

The scrolls, most of them on parchment, are the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible and include secular text dating from the third century BC to the first century AD.

For many years after Bedouin shepherds discovered the scrolls in caves near the Dead Sea in 1947, only a small number of scholars were allowed to view the fragments. But access has since been widened and they were published in their entirety nine years ago.

A few large pieces of scroll are on permanent display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

 

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