Preserving the Scrolls at the University of Minnesota

High-tech test of Dead Sea Scrolls under way at Science Museum of Minnesota

By Sharon Schmickle | Published Wed, Jul 28 2010 9:46 am

Since 1947, when a shepherd searching caves near the Dead Sea discovered fragments of ancient texts, scholars have sought ways to study the remarkable discovery — now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls — without damaging the 2,000-year-old documents. That quest continued in St. Paul on Tuesday when delegates from the Israel Antiquities Authority tested a new digital infrared camera system at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

A rare exhibit of the scrolls opened at the museum in March. On Tuesday, one set of scrolls was packed up for return to Jerusalem. A third and final set was delivered and unpacked this week for viewing that can begin next Tuesday, Aug. 3. The exhibit is open through Oct. 24.

Images in different wavelengths
In a secured and climate-controlled room at the museum, Tania Treiger used her gloved hands and assorted instruments to carefully arrange fragments of the priceless scrolls under an overhead camera. She is a conservator from Israel, one of only three people in the world who are trained and authorized to handle the ancient documents.

When the fragments were ready, overhead lights went out. Equipment beeped. Lights flickered in eerie shades. More beeps. Lights on.

Images of the fragment had been captured in 11 different wavelengths — some for reproductions in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to humans and some in the infrared, said Gregory Bearman…[See rest HERE]

HT: J. Lauer

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