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Dead Sea Scrolls Will Be Available On Internet

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The two thousand year old leather and papyrus pieces called the Dead Sea Scrolls, were found in 1947 in a cave by a shepherd in Israel will be placed on the Internet for anyone to view. The ancient documents are the earliest form of the Hebrew Bible ever found.

Scholars continually ask the Israel Antiquities Authority, the custodian of the scrolls, for access to them, and museums around the world seek to display them. Next month, the Jewish Museum of New York will begin an exhibition of six of the scrolls.

The keepers of the scrolls, people like Pnina Shor, head of the conservation department of the antiquities authority, are delighted by the intense interest but say that each time a scroll is exposed to light, humidity and heat, it deteriorates. She says even without such exposure there is deterioration because of the ink used on some of the scrolls as well as the residue from the Scotch tape used by the 1950s scholars in piecing together fragments.

The entire collection was photographed only once before — in the 1950s using infrared — and those photographs are stored in a climate-controlled room because they show things already lost from some of the scrolls. The old infrared pictures will also be scanned in the new digital effort.

25 Fascinating Facts About The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Written by smalltalkwitht

August 26, 2008 at 11:43 pm

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