Friday, November 18, 2016

Langlois on the Jerusalem papyrus

MICHAEL LANGLOIS: How a 2,700-year-old piece of papyrus super-charged the debate over UNESCO and Jerusalem (Huffington Post). Excerpt:
As for this papyrus, the various arguments claiming it is a forgery based on orthography are unconvincing. I have doubts about its authenticity, but on other grounds, especially the use of a margin of a sheet (a modus operandi of forgers from more than a century ago) and the alignment of the text. I believe that further analysis is required.

Still, the polemics surrounding the presentation of this papyrus could almost eclipse issues raised by its contents. Is it the king of Judah who asked that wine from his personal reserve be brought to Jerusalem? Or, did one of his subjects send him wine as a gift or as tax? Is it a neighbouring king who offered his Judahite counterpart some of his best bottles? What did the preceding lines say?

Whether this papyrus is authentic or not, it has not yet to reveal all of its secrets.
Background here and links. [Bad link now fixed!]