Thursday, October 21, 2010
Google does it again....catching up with 2000 years of history
One can criticise Google as much as one likes - as MPS is wont to do and did so only yesterday - but for whatever negative things it does, there are positives too - as this piece "Google to bring Dead Sea Scrolls to modern world" in The Independent reveals:
"The 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, some of the oldest, historically richest and most fragile religious texts in the world, are to be made available to more than a billion internet users thanks to a plan to put digitised images of the manuscripts online from next year.
One side effect is that the delicate parchment and papyrus fragments on which the text is written will not need to be exposed to the damaging effects of light and air to be read, thanks to the collaboration between Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
Sixty-three years after a Bedouin shepherd first discovered one of the scrolls in a cave near the West Bank village of Qumran, close to the Dead Sea, they will be available to a readership unimaginable to the Essene sect popularly believed to have written them in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
The Scrolls, which among much else contain every book of the Hebrew Bible apart from Esther, are currently kept in darkened, temperature-controlled rooms at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, where only four specially trained employees are permitted to handle the precious documents. No more than two scholars at a time are allowed to inspect the originals at once."