Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Those dubious DSS fragments

SUSPICION OF FORGERY: Dead Sea Scrolls scam: Dozens of recently sold fragments are fakes, experts warn. Since 2002, collectors have paid millions for portions of ancient text. As DC's Museum of the Bible prepares to open with several such pieces, evidence of fraud emerges (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
Since 2002, the world’s private antiquities markets have been saturated with certified millennia-old leather inscribed with biblical verses by what, on expert inspection, appears to be a modern hand. This has led some scholars to believe one or more of their own has gone rogue and created a proliferation of fakes that are being peddled to a growing number of Evangelical Christian collectors.

The Museum of the Bible, set to open this November in Washington, DC, is foremost among those collectors who have been “duped,” to the tune of millions of dollars, scholars say. A series of recent articles in respected academic journals calls into question the authenticity of at least half a dozen in its trove of tiny scroll fragments.

Among those raising awareness of the allegedly forged fragments is paleographer Dr. Kipp Davis, a research fellow at Trinity Western University and associate of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at TWU.

“There is a growing emerging consensus among Dead Sea Scroll scholars that many of the fragments in the private collections are fakes,” Davis told The Times of Israel.
This is a long and comprehensive account of the current state of the question concerning the supposed Dead Sea Scrolls fragments that came on the market in 2002 and later. Well worth a careful reading.

For past PaleoJudaica posts on these dubious fragments, start here and follow the links. For past posts on the Museum of the Bible, Hobby Lobby, and the Green Collection, see here and many links. And for past posts on the Schøyen Collection, see here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.