Google creates online archive of 5,000 massively detailed Dead Sea Scrolls images

Computerworld US | 18 December 12

Google, working in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority, has posted around 5,000 images of the Dead Sea Scrolls online.

The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library includes one of the earliest known copies of the Book of Deuteronomy, which holds the Ten Commandments. The images also include part of the Book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world.

For these latest images, Google worked with the Israel Antiquities Authority. They join five Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts that the company has already put online.

"Today, we're helping put more of these ancient treasures online," wrote Eyal Miller, a technology manager with Google Israel, in a blog post. "The texts include ... 2,000-year-old texts, shedding light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism."

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are considered to be of great historical and religious importance, are Biblical manuscripts written more than 2,000 years ago on parchment and papyrus. They include the earliest known surviving copies of Biblical documents.

There are about 972 texts in total, which were discovered on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea between 1946 and 1956.

"Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1,215 dpi resolution," wrote Miller. "The site displays infrared and color images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves. There's a database containing information for about 900 of the manuscripts, as well as interactive content pages."

To get the images online, the company used Google Storage and App Engine, as well as Google Maps and YouTube.


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