Google is assisting the Israel Antiquities Authority in converting more ancient religious texts from parchment and papyrus into digital documents.
Almost a year ago Google assisted in putting five ancient manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are known to be the oldest known biblical manuscripts still in existence, online.
The digital version of the Scrolls were launched as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls online project of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The Scrolls are described as one of the most important archeological discoveries of the 20th century.
Now Google is helping to digitise more of the ancient scrolls.
“Today, we’re helping put more of these ancient treasures online,” said Eyal Miller, New Business Development for Google. “The Israel Antiquities Authority is launching the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of some 5,000 images of scroll fragments, at a quality never seen before.”
Some of the ancient texts include a part of chapter one of the Book of Genesis, the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments “and hundreds more 2,000-year-old texts.” These texts highlight Jesus’ life and preaching as well as the history of Judaism.
“Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution. The site displays infrared and colour images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves,” said Miller.
The digital library site also includes a database holding information on approximately 900 of the manuscripts and interactive content pages. “We’re thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine and the use of Maps, YouTube and Google image technology,” said Miller.
Miller further said that their partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority forms part of their ongoing endeavour to make available important historical and cultural materials to the online world. The partnership also seeks to preserve these ancient texts for future generations.