Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Moss and Baden on the Jerusalem papyrus

EPIGRAPHY: Is Israel’s Big New Find for Real? A piece of recently found papyrus is said to prove that Jerusalem was the center of a kingdom thousands of years ago. But the timing of its discovery has cast some doubt on it (Candida Moss and Joel Baden, The Daily Beast). Excerpt:
Scholars who are not concerned with lab testing have openly questioned the authenticity of the Jerusalem papyrus, among them some of the most highly-respected archaeologists, epigraphers, and philologists in the world. Part of what drives this doubt may be technical concerns over issues such as whether the script used is what we would expect to find from the seventh century, or philological details such as whether the place name in the papyrus, Naharata, is grammatically correct. But for many, the overarching problem is how the text came to light in the first place.
As usual, Moss and Baden give us a good summary of the current state of play concerning the papyrus.

Background here (cf. here) and links.