Web Sea Scrolls

Scholars and museums have been elbowing each other in the face for decades to get access to the famed Dead Sea Scrolls, but because they’re so delicate only a small fraction of the people who’d like to study them get the chance.

Soon the entire internetted world will get that chance.

“The project began as a conservation necessity,” Ms. Shor explained. “We wanted to monitor the deterioration of the scrolls and realized we needed to take precise photographs to watch the process. That’s when we decided to do a comprehensive set of photos, both in color and infrared, to monitor selectively what is happening. We realized then that we could make the entire set of pictures available online to everyone, meaning that anyone will be able to see the scrolls in the kind of detail that no one has until now.”

The digitizing process will take only 1-2 years, which seems fast to me, especially considering how gingerly these fragments must be handled. Once it’s done, every piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be available high detail to anyone with an internet connection. Very, very cool.

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9 Comments »

Comment by viscousmemories
2008-08-27 06:24:04

Wow, very cool. I can’t wait to see them.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-27 06:25:41

Me either, especially the infrared because there’s lots you can’t see with the naked eye.

 
 
Comment by Dina
2008-08-28 07:07:08

Makes you wonder what will come to light!

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-28 07:32:18

Dina! How’ve you been? I’ve been following your daily dig notes avidly.

Comment by Dina
2008-08-28 11:12:22

Shalom, ahalan ya Livius! I’m honored by your presence at my blog; it gives me incentive to write more about the dig even though some readers might wonder where the Jerusalem scenes per se have gone. Only trouble with rising at 4:30 and being away from home ten hours a day is that it leaves too little evening time to read and comment at all my favorite blogs. So I’m way behind, but Deo volente, I’ll catch up.
Web Sea Scrolls, WSS, that’s a great pun! Do you read Hebrew?

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-28 11:41:05

I’m afraid I don’t read Hebrew. Perhaps I should take advantage of the 1-2 years the digitizing will take to at least learn the rudiments.

I’m positive all your regular readers are as fascinated by your dig entries as I am. They’re still Jerusalem scenes. In fact, I think they show the very heart of Jerusalem, which like my love, Rome, is a city dense with all the past layers of itself.

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Comment by Dina
2008-08-29 04:49:02

Beautifully said.
I love Rome too, without have seen her.
Yeah, you could learn a lot of Hebrew in two years.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-29 08:12:16

Hmm… I’ve never learned a language with a different alphabet before. I’m a little intimidated, but I might have to give it a shot.

 
 
Comment by View from Here
2008-08-31 00:39:06

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 “Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls.” See

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/plagiarism-and-dead-sea-scrolls-did-nyu-department-chairman-pilfer-chicago-historian-s-work

 
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