Five of the main Dead Sea scrolls, containing some of the oldest known surviving biblical texts, were put online Monday as part of a joint project between the Israel Museum and Google.
The project gives the public access to ultra high-resolution images of the ancient scrolls in a format that is easily searchable, with the magnified text revealing details previously invisible to the naked eye, a museum statement said.
So far, five of the scrolls have been digitized as part of the $3.5-million project that uses space-age technology to produce the clearest renderings yet of the ancient texts: the Great Isaiah scroll, the Community Rule scroll, the commentary on Habbakuk, the Temple scroll and the War scroll.
By visiting http: //dss.collections.imj. org.il/ people can view all of the text, as well as a translation tool and other background information on the documents, the museum said. “We are privileged to house in the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book the best preserved and most complete Dead Sea scrolls ever discovered,” Israel Museum director James Snyder said, describing them as of “paramount importance” for the world’s monotheistic religions.
“Now, through our partnership with Google, we are able to bring these treasures to the broadest possible public.”
The 900 biblical and other manuscripts, comprising some 30,000 fragments, were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea and photographed in their entirety with infra-red technology in the 1950s.
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