NASA imaging technology reveals hidden writing on Dead Sea Scrolls

Is photographing the scrolls in high resolution under different forms of light.
By Delila James | May 07, 2018
Advanced infrared imaging technology from NASA has revealed hitherto unseen writing on fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, according to the Israeli news outlet Haaretz.

Researchers with the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery Tuesday at a conference in Israel about the 2,000-year-old manuscripts.

Among the newly discovered texts are writings from the books of Deuteronomy, Leviticus, the Book of Psalms, and the Temple Scroll.

One of the recently deciphered passages written in paleo-Hebrew suggests the existence of an unknown scroll.

"What was exciting about this particular fragment is that I could tell that the handwriting was not identical to other fragments of this type of script," says Oren Abelman of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority, in the Haaretz report. "This leads me to believe we are dealing with a manuscript that we didn't know about."

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered hidden in earthenware jars in the Judaean Desert by a Bedouin shepherd in 1946-1947, include manuscripts from as early as the 8th century BCE. Most were written in Hebrew and Aramaic on papyrus, parchment, with one inscribed on copper. They are the most ancient Hebrew texts ever found.

As part of its digitalization project, the Israeli Antiquities Authority is photographing the scrolls in high resolution under different forms of light, which can reveal texts invisible to the naked eye.

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