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Pardes Yehuda: Dead Sea Scrolls going Digital

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls going Digital

The New York Times reports that Israel is digitally photographing the Dead Sea Scrolls to make them available to the public on the internet. According to the report, the project will take two years and will, for the first time, make all of the scrolls publically available.

Unfortunately, the heat and light from the photographs expedite the deterioration of the scrolls. The scrolls, however, are deteriorating anyways, and researchers hope to find this is a means to track the rate of deterioration--seemingly this would help them understand better how to preserve ancient scrolls.

More than that, it makes the scrolls accessible to scholars of all degree, students of all age and interest, and the public at large. According to the report, the technology being employed will even make previously illegible sections legible for the first time.

For "text heads" out there who would like a preview of what this project might look like should check out the Aleppo Codex online, where you can see digital images of the most accurate transcript of the Bible according to the Masoretic tradition.

I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to see the Copper Scroll!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This field never ceases to generate controversy. Museum exhibits have been abusively slanted towards an increasingly disputed theory, and plagiarism charges have surfaced against Lawrence Schiffman, author of the popular book "Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls." See