Dead Sea Scrolls Going Online, With Google's Help

21st-century technology meeting 1st-century texts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2010 7:10 AM CDT
Updated Oct 20, 2010 8:04 AM CDT
Dead Sea Scrolls Going Online, With Google's Help
An Israel Antiquities Authority worker points at a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a laboratory in Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Google is teaming up with Israel's Antiquities Authority to make one of the world's most tightly guarded archeological treasures available to anybody with an Internet connection. The Dead Sea Scrolls will be made available in their entirety online in a project expected to take several years, CNN reports. The IAA will use the latest digital imaging technology to photograph 30,000 scroll fragments dating from between the first century BC and second century AD. Google will then upload the images, and pair them with translations and other info.

The digital technology captures images of each layer of parchment, revealing parts of the ancient texts that have turned black with age. "This is the ultimate image you can get of any scroll,” the project head of the Dead Sea Scrolls research tells the Jerusalem Post. “This is like an authentic copy of the scroll. There will be no need to expose the scrolls anymore. Anyone will be able to click and see any scroll fragment.” She predicts that new insights into the texts will be gained now that scholars no longer need to travel to Israel to view the scrolls.
(More Dead Sea scrolls stories.)

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