If there’s one thing Google knows, it’s data, and if there’s one inviolate rule of dealing with data, it’s this — always, always, always have a backup. That’s a good rule when you’re dealing with memos from your boss, but it’s an even more important one to abide by when the data in question are crumbling, millennia-old scrolls. In that spirit, the tech giant is continuing its partnership with the Israeli Museum to bring the Dead Sea Scrolls online as a searchable archive. Today, the partnership announced that they’ve made some major expansions to that library.
The partnership, which uses technology first developed by NASA to make the scrolls zoomable and searchable by interested parties, put five scrolls online last year. Today, they announced that they’ve added 5,000 more documents of import to early Judeo-Christianity to the online archive.
Among the scrolls now featured in the online archive are The Ten Commandments, which is very handy, because now in case you forget any of them, you’ll be able to get a quick reminder of why you shouldn’t steal a thing or covet…another thing. Clearly, we could use a refresher on this. Of course, it’s only convenient if you have an Internet connection and and also happen to be able to read ancient Hebrew, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Also available for your perusal is an early edition of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, meaning that you have just three days to look at how the world began online, before it ends in… what have we decided, y’all? Rain of fire? I’m voting for rain of fire.
The project is separate from, but in the spirit of, Google’s recently launched Cultural Institute, which works to preserve cultural artifacts from around the world. And while we may not be the most churchgoing folks as a whole around here, it is good to see that these fragile, one of a kind artifacts are being not only preserved for future generations, but made freely available to anyone who wants to study them.
Here’s hoping there’s not some dark, world swallowing incantations in there that got past editors and curators, though. I mean, there’s probably not, but with 2,000 year old scrolls, you never know. If Hollywood has taught us nothing else, it is that weird stuff from other dimensions lives in old scrolls, and some of it you just don’t want to mess with.
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