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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Artifacts Israel Says Were Forged

The Guardian Unlimited (link provided to me by David Meadows),1280,-4700427,00.html

Summary: Artifacts Israel Says Were Forged
Wednesday December 29, 2004 10:16 PM
By The Associated Press
A list of some of the archaeological objects the Israeli authorities say were forged by a sophisticated criminal ring:
- The James ossuary, a burial box bearing the inscription ``James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.''
- The Yoash inscription, a tablet from about the 9th century B.C., inscribed with 15 lines of ancient Hebrew with instructions for maintaining the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The tablet was offered for sale for $4.5 million.
- Shards of clay pots bearing inscriptions linking them to biblical sites and the biblical temples. Some of them sold to private collectors for up to $100,000 each.
-A stone menorah inscribed with depictions of plants and said to belong to the temple High Priest, offered to private collectors for $100,000.
-A gold and stone royal seal said to be that of Menashe, King of Judah, offered to a private collector for $1 million.
-A quartz bowl, bearing an inscription in an ancient Egyptian script, claiming that Egyptian forces destroyed the ancient town of Megiddo, a subject of intense academic debate.
-An ivory pomegranate thought to be that of the temple high priest. The Israel Museum bought the pomegranate from an anonymous collector for $550,000 in the 1980s, with the money deposited into a secret Swiss bank account.
-An ancient clay vase with an inscription said to be part of an offering at the temple.
-Numerous wax seals, said to belong to biblical figures. Some selling for $90,000.


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