Google is partnering with the Israel Antiquities Authority to launch the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of 5,000 images of scroll fragments. Among the texts is the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments, and part of Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis, which is seen in the picture above and measures in at about 10 cm.
Google said the initiative will shed "light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism."
"Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution," Google said in an official blog post. "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. We’re thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, and use of Maps, YouTube and Google image technology."
The news comes just more than a year after Google put online five manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls,which are ancient documents which include the oldest known biblical manuscripts. These documents were written more than 2,000 years ago on pieces of parchment and papyrus and were preserved in dark caves until recently.
Google's partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority is a part of a greater effort to bring cultural and historical materials online. The company's most recent initiatives include the Yad Vashem Holocaust photo collection, Google Art Project, World Wonders and the Google Cultural Institute.