Dead Sea Scroll goes public on the Internet

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The original 1,000-year-old Dead Sea Scroll is being made available for inspection for the first time - on the Internet.

Modern technology has provided a breakthrough for scholars anxious to share unique ancient documents, but worried about them being ruined by over-handling. The priceless document has until now been available only within the confines of Cambridge University. Thanks to the information superhighway, it is now accessible to millions of ordinary people.

The computer network means the scroll can not only be studied simultaneously by scholars around the world, but also viewed in minute detail by casual surfers.

The scroll is one of the first fragments of ancient material to be put on the information superhighway by the university.

The others selected include ancient letters, books and marriage contracts concerning life in the Middle East a thousand years ago. They all come from Cambridge's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection.

Dr Stefan Reif, director of the collection's research unit, said: "This could open up a whole new era of international collaboration."