Regular readers of this column will hardly be surprised to learn that this edition of “First Person” deals with an archaeological controversy. It is also true that I can be critical of any scholar whom I feel is clearly on the wrong side.
But I do not make scholarly judgments. I am not a paleographer. I can make judgments, however, about the reasoning of scholars. When I feel a scholar is making a wrong call based on the scholarly record, I can be harsh—or at least some would say so.
In these circumstances, it would seem that I should be even harsher on a non-scholar who makes a wrong call on the evidence. That is the case here. It is time for a new target for my wrath. This column focuses on an errant call by a non-scholar—namely by the author himself! At this point, it is not quite so clear as I had thought (and argued) that the inscription on the famous ivory pomegranate is authentic.