Monday, March 04, 2019

Another "Hebrew book" seized in Turkey

APPREHENDED: 800-year-old Hebrew book seized in southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakır (The Daily Sabah). Turkish security forces continue diligently taking fakes off of the antiquities market.

There are a couple of not-as-bad-as-usual photographs of this "book." The page containing Hebrew writing looks as though it came from somewhere else and has been cut down badly to fit as a page of the current book. The printed (! - not handwritten) Hebrew is vocalized. Thanks to detective work by Avi Kallenbach at the Hebrew Codicology and Paleography page at Facebook, the text can be identified as from a Hebrew translation (possibly the 1937 one by A. Kahana) of 1 Maccabees.

The drawings of the people in the other pages look vaguely to me like something in a Christian tradition. But I am not an art historian and my impressions are not authoritative. The Hebrew letters on the left side of the second photo look crudely handwritten.

I don't know where these articles get the supposed ages of these seized manuscripts. This is a modern fake, probably cobbled together out of a couple of different sources.

All commenters at the Hebrew Codicology and Paleography Facebook page agree it is a fake. This and the other recent Hebrew book surfacing in Turkey have generated a mixture of exasperation and mirth over there. You should join, if you are interested in such matters.

For other similar stories coming out of Turkey, start here and follow the many links.

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