updated 10/19/2010 12:23:06 PM ET 2010-10-19T16:23:06

Israel's Antiquities Authority is partnering with Google to bring 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 slated to be online within months.

The scrolls will be available in both original languages and in translation.

Antiquities official Pnina Shor said Tuesday this will ensure the originals are preserved while broadening access to the priceless artifact, 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.

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