Monday, March 06, 2023

More on the fake Darius inscription

THE DARIUS OSTRACON INSCRIPTION, which reportedly turned out to be a modern pedagogical exercise that went awry, is receiving a good bit of media attention. I have followed the story with my own comments here and here.

Here are some follow-up articles:

Analysis | The Darius Artifact: How Did We Get From Discovery of the Decade to Disgrace? An inscription mentioning the Persian invader found in the city of Lachish, which had a strong Persian presence, correctly written in the language of the time. What could go wrong? (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz)

Israel Antiquities Authority must rein in enthusiasm before its next find - editorial The Israel Antiquities Authority must curb its enthusiasm and double and triple check its archaeological findings before publication (Jerusalem Post)

The Darius Ostracon: From Real to Fake. How experts authenticated a modern forgery (Nathan Steinmeyer, Bible History Daily)

[Christopher Rollston] added that this lack of scrutiny could have had real implications for our understanding of the ancient past. “What if the archaeologist who made this piece had not come forward?” asked Rollston. “We could end up writing histories and citing inscriptions in those histories, and in part basing some of what we say on something that is a modern forgery.”
It is possible that we already are. I flagged concerns about this almost twenty years ago .

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