[b-hebrew] Joash Inscription, a blatant forgery?

CS Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 17 22:56:02 EST 2004

On 3/17/04 6:15 PM, "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:

>  Peter has already pointed out that readability
> may or may not have anything to do with authenticity ...

I agree. But, as always, I am approaching this question from an entirely
different angle than PK.

A moderately clever forger who wanted to produce an authentic looking
inscription from 8th or 9th century bc might be somewhat embarrassed to
present the scholarly community with such a clean sample of text. A not so
clever forger might not be bothered by this question at all. A really
cleaver forger might produce a stone like Joash Inscription on the premise
that a faked ancient inscription would be expected to have damaged text
whereas real inscriptions sometimes have near perfect text.

The issue here is the forger's conceptual model of an ancient inscription.
If they know enough to fake the patina but they commit linguistic "howlers"
(F.M. Cross) they may be cleaver about the physical aspects of the problem
but not world class philologists.

Anyway, all I was reporting was a subjective response to a first look at the
stone. It looked too clean. Not saying that clean inscriptions don't exist,
they do. I like to read the clean ones :-)

Clay Bartholomew 

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