Dead Sea Scrolls fragments go online

Published on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 by Webmaster

Dead Sea Scrolls fragments go online
Thousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls went online Tuesday with the launch of a new website by Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority, part of a move to make the famed manuscripts easily available to scholars and casual web surfers.

The website provides access to high-resolution images of the famous scrolls, which were written 2,000 years ago and first discovered at Qumran, on the Dead Sea shore, in the 1940s.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is in the process of photographing the thousands of fragments in its possession — pieces of an estimated 900 different manuscripts — using special imaging equipment first developed for NASA. The hi-tech cameras have rendered visible sections of parchment that were previously indecipherable.

Google is involved in the project as part of a broader effort to preserve world cultural heritage online. In 2011, the US web giant helped makematerial from the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial available on the web, and has carried out similar projects at Madrid's Prado Museum and at several national libraries in Europe.

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