Researchers Get New Tools for Dead Sea Scrolls

YERUSHALAYIM -
Thousands of the ancient scroll fragments from the conservation table to the virtual table. (Shai Halevi/Israel Antiquities Authority)
Thousands of the ancient scroll fragments from the conservation table to the virtual table. (Shai Halevi/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Dead Sea Scrolls scholars have embarked on a project to create a digital work environment that will enable researchers all over the world to collaborate in analyzing the ancient documents.

The scholars envision linking the databases and resources of the Qumran-Lexicon-project of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

During the 1950s and early 1960s, thousands of scrolls fragments were discovered, some of which were only tiny pieces. Since then, many researchers have been working on joining fragments to one another. Now, as part of the project, advanced digital tools will be developed for suggesting new joins. These tools will help researchers to identify connections between various fragments and manuscripts.

The environment will also offer palaeographic tools and an alignment tool connecting text and image that will enable simple transitions between the databases: Readers will be able to access the original text of the scroll, up-to-date translations, high-resolution images, dictionary entries and parallel texts.

Funding in the amount of 1.6 million euros is being provided by the Deutsch-Israelische-Projektförderung (DIP), administrated by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).