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New book on the fake James Ossuary

  1. Oct 16, 2008 #1
    Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land by Nina Burleigh
    promo video clip

    In 2002 an ossuary (sort of coffin) with an inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" was unveiled as the first archaeological evidence of the existence of the Christ of Christianity.

    At the end of 2004 the antiquities specialist who "found" the ossuary was charged with fraud, forgery, and other crimes by an Israeli court. The book documents the sleuthing that tracked down evidence of the forgery and disproved its authenticity.

    BBC documentary on the Jehoash Tablet, one of the other artifacts faked by this group: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2008 #2
    Good to know. I remember watching some Dateline show on it awhile back.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2008 #3
    An update I just saw today: the trial is going badly.
     
  5. Nov 1, 2008 #4
    so was the trial held because they had evidence, or because such an artifact creates so much controversy in a jewish state?
     
  6. Nov 1, 2008 #5
    Watching the video it sure seemed to me as if they had evidence. When they searched the guy's house he had all sorts of tools and materials for manufacturing fake artifacts as well as many half-made artifacts. And they showed experts who seemed to be able to explain exactly how he would have made the tablet and the ossuary using those materials.

    But that latest story cites the judge saying something about how the different experts who testified disagreed with one another, so maybe it's a matter of that and not having specific evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt (or whatever the equivalent Israeli judicial standard is) of how those two specific artifacts would have been faked.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2008 #6
    thing is, i think it's likely such people would deal in both real artifacts and fakes. and that brings the prosecution back around to needing to prove that this very artifact is a fake.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2008 #7

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    I watched the documentary on this being a fake a few years ago.
     
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