Google launches Dead Sea Scrolls online library

Dec 18, 2012 by Lauren E. Bohn
A copy of a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls is presented during a joint Israel Antiquities Authority, IAA, and Google press conference in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Israeli authorities say they have put 5,000 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

More than six decades since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls—and thousands of years after they were written—Israel on Tuesday put 5,000 images of the ancient biblical artifacts online in a partnership with Google.

The digital library contains the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the second listing of the Ten Commandments, and a portion of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, dated to the first century B.C.

Israeli officials said this is part of an attempt by the custodians of the celebrated manuscripts—often criticized for allowing them to be monopolized by small circles of scholars—to make them broadly available.

A worker of the Dead Sea Scrolls conservation laboratory at the IAA, Israel Antiquities Authority, holds a frame with small fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a laboratory in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Israeli authorities say they have put 5,000 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

"Only five conservators worldwide are authorized to handle the ," said Shuka Dorfman, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority. "Now, everyone can touch the scroll on screen around the globe."

Last year, partnered with the Israel Museum to put five scrolls online.

An Israel Antiquities Authority, IAA, worker presents fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the IAA offices at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Israeli authorities say they have put 5,000 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

The scrolls, considered one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century, are thought to have been written or collected by an ascetic Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem to the desert 2,000 years ago and settled at Qumran, near the shore of the Dead Sea. The hundreds of manuscripts found in caves near the site have shed light on the development of the and the origins of Christianity.

Google says the new digital library took two years to assemble, using technology first developed by NASA. The multimedia website allows users to zoom in on various fragments, with translations and alongside.

A worker of the Dead Sea Scrolls conservation laboratory at the IAA, Israel Antiquities Authority, looks through a microscope in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Israeli authorities say they have put 5,000 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Google hopes to further expand its project. Two months ago Google launched a "Cultural Institute," a digital visual archive of historical events in cooperation with 17 museums and institutes around the world.

"We're working to bring important cultural and historical materials online and help preserve them for ," said Yossi Matias, head of Google's Research and Development Center in Israel. "Our partnership with the is another step toward enabling users to enjoy cultural material around the world."

A small fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is seen at the IAA offices at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Israeli authorities say they have put 5,000 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea scrolls online in a partnership with Google.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)


Explore further: Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

More information: Online: www.deadseascrolls.org.il

4.4 /5 (9 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls go online

Sep 26, 2011

Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls went online for the first time on Monday in a project launched by Israel's ...

Google to bring Dead Sea Scrolls online

Oct 19, 2010

The Dead Sea Scrolls, among the world's most important, mysterious and tightly restricted archaeological treasures, are about to get Googled.

Protons for studying the Dead Sea Scrolls

Jul 02, 2010

Researchers of the National Laboratories of the South (LNS) in Catania of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN, Italy's National Institute for Nuclear Physics) have shed light on the origin of one of the extraordinary ...

Google Street View comes to Israel

Apr 22, 2012

(AP) -- After months of discussions with Israeli security officials, Google has launched its popular Street View service in the country's three largest cities.

Recommended for you

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

Aug 23, 2014

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

Aug 22, 2014

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

User comments : 0