Slice of History: Digitized Dead Sea Scrolls Now Available Online, Thanks to Google

The most significant archeological discovery of the 20th century is now online, thanks to Google. Five of the most important Scrolls have been put up on the internet, after being digitized. As Google hopes, this will elevate the interested from being passive admirers of the scrolls to being active readers. The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls are destined to be a big hit!

The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Greatest  Archaeological  Find

The Dead Sea Scrolls are believed to have been penned by a Jewish sect, who fled Jerusalem when the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed and migrated through the desert. The scrolls consist of 972 documents and were discovered on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, in the Khirbet Qumran caves, presently known as West Bank.

One of the Qumran caves, where the Scrolls were found

The scrolls comprise mostly texts from the Hebrew Bible, but there are other texts, which talk about sects other than the Judaic one or one greater than it. There are also texts for the so-called Apocryphal literature, including extremely ancient Jewish works like The Book of Enoch or the Book of the Jubilees (the Lesser Genesis’). These did not find a place in the Bible as we know it now and very little is known about these apart from these scrolls. The scrolls are thus a more complete picture as to how Christianity spread and how its influence grew over Italy, Germany and the rest of Europe.

Find Scrolls here:

The five scrolls digitized and put up are the Great Isiah Scroll, the War Scroll, the Commentary on the Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll and the Community Rule Scroll. The Great Isiah Scroll is regarded by historian as the most important and extensive of all the Scrolls.

More Scrolls are due online, as the Israel Antiquities Authority, the owner of the most complete set of scrolls, are planning to digitize more scrolls from their collection and put them online, with Google’s help, of course. It says that nearly all the scrolls will be online by 2016.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.