Internet giant Google is to put the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls online.
The project will grant free access to the 2,000-year-old text – considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century – by uploading high-resolution images. The first photographs are due to be available within months.
The scrolls will be in both original languages and in translation.
Israeli antiquities official Pnina Shor said the move would ensure the originals were preserved while broadening access to the priceless artefact, which includes fragments of the Hebrew Bible.
Experts have complained only a small number of scholars were allowed access to the scrolls found in caves near the Dead Sea in the 1940s.