Google adds to Dead Sea Scroll images online

Texts include the Ten Commandments and Genesis' creation of the world

Google, working in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority, posted about 5,000 images of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls online Tuesday.

Pieces of the text going online include one of the earliest known copies of the Book of Deuteronomy, which holds the Ten Commandments. The images also include part of the Book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world.

Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project
A portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls which were digitized and posted online as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project. (Photo: Baz Ratner/Reuters)

For these latest images, Google worked with the Israel Antiquities Authority to launch the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.

These images join five Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts that Google has already put online.

"Today, we're helping put more of these ancient treasures online," wrote Eyal Miller, a technology manager with Google Israel, in a blog post. "The texts include ... 2,000-year-old texts, shedding light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism."

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are considered to be of great historical and religious importance, are Biblical manuscripts written more than 2,000 years ago on parchment and papyrus. They include the earliest known surviving copies of biblical documents.

There are about 972 texts that were discovered on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea between 1946 and 1956.

"Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution," wrote Miller. "The site displays infrared and color images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves. There's a database containing information for about 900 of the manuscripts, as well as interactive content pages."

To get the images online, the company used Google Storage and App Engine, as well as Google Maps and YouTube.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is

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