Wednesday, January 15, 2003


News of the Jehoash Inscription has hit the national media. As with many antiquities, the inscription's provenance is sketchy making it more difficult to authenticate. With only two entities looking at it, there has not yet been a unanimity of opinion:
Gabriel Barkai, a biblical archaeologist, said the collector asked the Israel Museum to determine the authenticity of the inscription and was told the museum’s experts could not rule out a forgery. The Israel Museum declined comment Monday.

The collector then took the tablet to Israel’s Geological Institute, whose experts studied it over the past year. “Our findings show that it is authentic,” said Shimon Ilani, who performed geological tests on the inscription. Carbon dating confirms the writing goes back to the 9th century B.C., he said.

This sort of find needs critical investigation to authenticate it. It's an exciting find, but it doesn't do anyone any good to pretend a forgery isn't a forgery. But things look good for the inscription at this point.

Jehoash Inscription, AP Photo

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