MiDAR reveals hidden text on Dead Sea Scrolls

By on 8 May, 2018

A MiDAR camera originally developed for NASA has yielded a new discovery on a manuscript thought to be blank. Shai Halevi, The Leon Levy, Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.

A multispectral imaging camera originally developed for NASA has been used to reveal previously hidden text on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Researchers from the Israeli Antiquities Authority used a Multispectral Imaging, Detection and Active Reflectance (MiDAR) camera to discover script on portions of the ancient texts previously thought to contain no inscription.

Over 1,000 ancient manuscripts collectively known as the Dead Sea Scrolls have been recovered by archaeologists in caves around the West Bank since the first were discovered in 1946.

One fragment analysed with the MiDAR camera contained script in ancient paleo-Hebrew which could not be attributed to any known manuscripts, and is thus thought to belong to an unknown text.

The discovery was made in the course of digitising the Scrolls, a project being undertaken between Google and the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Read more about the significance of this discovery at Haaretz.



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