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Jerusalem Forgery Conference Report

Forgery Conference Report

By Hershel Shanks, with abstracts by participating scholars, photo analysis of the James Ossuary Inscription and remarks by Prof. Gabriel Barkay

A conference convened in Jerusalem in January 2007 grappled with key issues regarding forgeries: Are several high-profile objects actually fakes? How can objects be tested to determine authenticity? What protocols should scholars follow when faced with objects that have come not from excavations but from the antiquities market?

Biblical Archaeology Review editor Hershel Shanks reports on the discussions at the conference and summarizes the consensus that emerged over several of the objects—a consensus at odds with how those objects have been described in the press.

Among the objects discussed are the James Ossuary Inscription (“James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”); the Ivory Pomegranate, perhaps the only relic from Solomon Temple; the Jehoash Inscription, which describes repairs to the Temple; and the Mousaieff Ostraca, two inscribed potsherds that record a donation to the Temple and contain a plea by a widow for a part of her husband’s estate.

Forgery Conference Participants:

Shmuel Ahituv, Israel
Gabriel Barkay, Israel
Chaim Cohen, Israel
Aaron Demsky, Israel
Israel Ephal, Israel
Hanan Eshel, Israel
Edward Greenstein, Israel
Martin Heide, Germany
Avi Hurwitz, Israel
Wolfgang Krumbein, Germany
André Lemaire, France
Alan Millard, England
Bezalel Porten, Israel
Ronny Reich, Israel
Andrew Vaughn, USA
Ada Yardeni, Israel

BAS, 2007. 113 pages.

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