Biblical Archaeology Review 10:3, May/June 1984

Clumsy Forger Fools the Scholars—But Only for a Time

Fake inscriptions seriously debated in scholarly journals.

The forger has struck again—this time he managed to fool some of the world’s foremost scholars.

Although at least some of his forgeries have now been discovered, the forger himself remains at large. And the problem of archaeological forgeries persists. The following may be just the tip of the iceberg.

This chapter in the centuries-long story of archaeological forgeries began in 1966 when Jerusalem was still a divided city. West Jerusalem was Israeli; East Jerusalem and the Old City were in Jordanian hands. Early in the year, word circulated in East Jerusalem that a Jordanian entrepreneur from Jerusalem was offering for sale eight tightly rolled parchment manuscripts that might be even older than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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