Dead Sea Scrolls go live online

 

Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls are available online.

Israel’s national museum and Google are behind the project, which put five scrolls online today. They include the biblical Book of Isaiah.

Google’s technology allows surfers to search the scrolls for specific passages and translate them into English.

The scrolls, most of them on parchment, are the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible and include secular text dating from the third century BC to the first century AD.

Originally found by Bedouin shepherds in 1947 in the Qumran caves in the Judean Desert, the scrolls, which were estimated to have been hidden in about 68 AD, had survived more or less intact.

They are held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Google is also working with Israel to make the first comprehensive and searchable database of the broader collection of scrolls.

The website address is dss.collections.imj.org.il