In mid-January, the Biblical Archaeology Society convened a conference in Jerusalem of leading scholars from all over the world, to assess a number of well-known Biblical artifacts that had in recent years been labeled as forgeries (many from indicted dealer Oded Golan). The BAS have now released a free report on the conference proceedings (email address required for download) on their website:
On January 16, 17 and 18, 2007, the Biblical Archaeology Society convened a conference in Jerusalem to consider matters relating to the numerous inscriptions that have been recently alleged to be forgeries. Among these inscriptions are the James Ossuary Inscription that reads “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”; the Ivory Pomegranate Inscription that reads “(Dedicated) to the Temple of [Yahwe]h, Holy to the Priests”; the Yehoash Inscription that purports to be a royal Judahite inscription describing repairs to the Temple as also described in the Bible; the recent Moabite Stone published by Shmuel Ahituv and displayed in the Israel Museum; and the so-called Moussaieff Ostraca.
It’s no secret that Hershel Shanks and the BAS have been at odds with the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) over their handling of the forgery claims. It must be said though, that this report is very open, and inclusive of some of the IAA scientists involved in the forgery claims.