By Max Clarke

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, with assistance from Google, have published the Dead Sea Scrolls online.

Eyal Miller, head of New Business Development at Google, and Eyal Fink, Software Engineer at the Israel Research and Development Center, outline the significance of the seminal texts in Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) latest blog.

Written between the third and first centuries BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. In 68 BCE, they were hidden in 11 caves in the Judean desert on the shores of the Dead Sea to protect them from the approaching Roman armies.

They weren’t discovered again until 1947, when a Bedouin shepherd threw a rock in a cave and realized something was inside. Since 1965, the scrolls have been on exhibit at the Shrine of the Book at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Among other topics, the scrolls offer critical insights into life and religion in ancient Jerusalem, including the birth of Christianity.

The Mountain View tech giant have made previous forays into cultural realms, with the launch earlier this year of the New Online Art Project. The Project begun with Holbein’s breathtaking The Ambassadors- housed in London’s National Gallery- being digitised for public consumption by Google.

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