Religious scholars and amateur seekers can now examine digital images of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the comfort of their laptops or tablet computers.
The 2,000- year old scrolls, written by a desert-dwelling Jewish sect, were uncovered in the 1940s in Israel. The Israeli government worked with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to scan the scrolls and create an online library, making them available to a worldwide audience, the Associated Press noted.
The library required two years of work to create and builds on an previous effort to create digital images of five of the scrolls. Technology developed by NASA was used to scan the ancient texts.
Among the writings contained in the scrolls are a first century B.C. copy of the Biblical Book of Deuteronomy and part of the Book of Genesis.
Due to the scrolls’ fragility, access to them has been restricted for decades to a select group of researchers, frustrating many scholars.
Google is working with a number of museums worldwide to create a digital library of ancient texts. Its shares rose fractionally in Tuesday morning trading.