Ultra high-res images of the ancient scrolls available for everyone.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, arguably the most important archaeological find of the 20th century, which are so fragile they can’t be seen in direct sunlight, are now available online for everyone to see. The 2000 year old scrolls were originally found in the Qumran, near the Dead Sea, between 1947 to 1956. Believed to be written around 150 BC and 70AD, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 manuscripts depicting biblical scripts.
Five of the eight scrolls, including the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Temple Scroll and the War Scroll have been scanned and are already available online. All the eight scrolls which reside in Israel Museum, will be scanned via a special $250k camera co-developed by a former NASA scientist. The entire set of scrolls is set to be online by 2016.
Making the Dead Sea Scrolls online is a joint project between Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority, so that these historical words can be viewed and shared by scholars all around the world. The current version that’s available online does have English translations for each verse, but experts are always free to come up with better and improved translations, which can also be submitted.
Ultimately, this is good news for everyone as the closely guarded Dead Sea Scrolls were, prior to this, only available for viewing at the Israel Museum, with the government often blamed for monopolizing these historical manuscripts.