Tag Archives: Antiquity

Google Makes Dead Sea Scrolls Available Online

Qumran cave 4, in which ninety percent of the scrolls were found. (courtesy of Wikimedia)

Qumran cave 4, in which ninety percent of the scrolls were found. (courtesy of Wikimedia)

Google paired with the Israel Antiquities Authority to publish the entirety of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls, primarily discovered in the 1940’s, are documents of both historical and religious significance. The scrolls, which date to the fourth and fifth centuries CE, are the earliest surviving copies of biblical and peri-biblical documents in existence.

“The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Library offers an exceptional encounter with antiquity. Using the world’s most advanced imaging technology, the Digital Library preserves thousands of scrolls fragments, including the oldest known copies of biblical texts, now accessible to the public for the first time.” — Statement on the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Library website.

Visitors can browse the collection by geography (archaeological site at which they were found), language (my Aramaic is a bit rusty I must admit), or by topic (scripture, history, etc). The collection includes detailed information on the history and provenance of the texts.

King Tut Buried Hastily

Some dark, mysterious spots found on the art and remains in King Tut’s tomb indicate that the Boy King was buried hastily. The spots, which were evident in 1922 when the tomb was uncovered, are still one of the mysterious aspects of the burial. Microbiologists at the Getty Conservation Institute have yet to match the melanins in the spots to any living organism.

Dark Spots on Art Inside the Tomb

Egyptologists believe that the young Pharaoh died suddenly which lead to a hasty burial. The dark spots seem to indicate that the painted plaster on the walls was not dry when the tomb was sealed, allowing microbes to grow on the moist regions fed with the accompanying incense and food provided for the Boy King to accompany his journey to the afterlife.

Read more about the mysterious spots in this MSNBC article and here at LiveScience. You can also listen to the Scientific American podcast.