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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Dead Sea scrolls to go online

Credit: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has announced that the Dead Sea scrolls are to be put online. Some high resolution images are already available but this new project, "The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library" aims to make all of the texts available free of charge through a partnership with Google. They will be on a searchable database and there will be meta-data including transcriptions, translations and bibliography. The quality of the images is such that some new letters and words could be revealed by using infra-red light and wavelengths beyond. The project is expected to be completed within five years.

The Director of the IAA, Pnina Shor said that once the documents are online, there would be no need to expose the scrolls physically; they can be preserved in the dark, climate controlled storeroom where they are kept when not on display.

The IAA has also provided a download of high resolution images (11.1 Mb zip file). Credit: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
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