28 August 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls to go online.

This was in today’s Guardian. When it is up and running it will definitely be one of those “what makes the internet truly worthwhile” places.

Scientists and scholars in Jerusalem have begun a programme to take the first high-resolution digital photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls so that they can be shown on the internet. In a project that could take five years and cost millions of dollars, the fragments will be photographed first by a 39-megapixel digital camera then by another digital camera in infra-red light. Finally, some will be photographed using a sophisticated multi-spectral imaging camera.

Eventually all the fragments will be available to view online, with transcriptions, translations, scholarly interpretations and bibliographies provided for academic study. "The aim is that you can go online and call up the scrolls with the best possible resolution and all the information that exists about them today," said Pnina Shor, head of the artefacts treatment and conservation department at the antiquities authority.

The work has already brought to light new revelations about the scrolls. The infra-red photography has picked out letters not previously visible to the naked eye. The detailed colour photographs of papyrus fragments may help to identify pieces that fit together and fragments written by the same scribes. Scholars hope that this information will enable them to piece together more of the fragments and so come closer to putting complete sections of the scrolls together.

11 comments:

beakerkin said...

I was able to see some of them when I was in San Diego. This was the only day I was able to get away from the rest of the people on my trip.

I told the rest of the folks that anyone awake at 5AM could join me.
If you ever get to LA the train ride down the coast is amazing. You just have to be patient because for the first hour the scenery is painful.

Dragonstar said...

This would be an excellent project in its own right. Making it available on the internet is the icing on the cake.

jmb said...

How wonderful that everyone will get to see them. You're right, this is what makes the internet so wonderful. A collective knowledge that we all can access.

Liz said...

Isn't it just amazing what can be done?

The Lone Beader said...

I can't wait for that! Very interesting!

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

E Bay?

jams o donnell said...

It really did strike me as the sort of thing that makes the net worth it.

It must have been a great exhibition Beakerkin. Perhaps I'll head that way. I might even look up an ex.

I hope the reserve is not too great James

mutleythedog said...

Dou you think they will be able to make the text searchable in like Jewish from Google or summat?

CherryPie said...

What a wonderful project, I can't wait to see it!

Tink *~*~* said...

when I got to the words "39 megapixel" I almost could not read further. That just about blows my mind. Thirty-nine! MEGAPIXELS!

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

jams o donnell said...

It is isn't it, Cherie

That's a large image.Perhaps a digital medium format camera... THe digital versions of Hasselblads have huge resolution.