5 Of The Dead Sea Scrolls Are Now Available For Viewing

09.27.11 | Sarah Harnisch

  For the first time since they were created 2,000 years ago, the Dead Sea scrolls will be available for viewing online this week. The Israel Museum and Google have posted the 5 most important manuscripts on the web for the public to view. 

   The scrolls, considered by many to be the most significant archaeological find of the 20th century, are thought to have been written or collected by an ascetic Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem for the desert 2,000 years ago and settled at Qumran, on the banks of the Dead Sea. The hundreds of manuscripts that survived, partially or in full, in caves near the site, have shed light on the development of the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Christianity. Photography work on the project began earlier this month in conjunction with a former NASA scientist. An advanced $250,000 camera developed in Santa Barbara, California allows researchers to discern words and other details not visible to the naked eye. Today, the scrolls are stored in a special vault in a building in Jerusalem, and accessing the documents requires three keys, a code and a magnetic card. The scrolls are now owned by various museums and private collectors.

    If you want to see the scrolls, you don't need a key or a card. You can just go here.