posted on Sep, 27 2004 @ 07:12 PM
tells the story of a stone tablet presented for
authenticating and sale that appeared to make reference to Solomonís temple. Such a find would be spectacular. Though Solomonís temple figures
prominently in the Bible, apparently there is virtually no archaeological evidence supporting its existence.
The stone tablet appeared to be legitimate. Experts even found bits of carbon embedded in the patina covering the stone, allowing them to carbon date
it. The results showed the patina over the inscriptions was 2,300 years old.
Negotiations began with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Millions of dollars were at stake. The deal fell apart when questions of the origin and
ownership of the item got too intense. The representatives of the seller bolted.
In stepped the scientific sleuths who make it their business to get to the bottom of such situations.
The owner was found and the stone tablet was re-examined even more closely.
The article then describes the chain of discoveries and the scientific techniques that eventually proved it was fake. They also figured out exactly
HOW it was faked, including the false carbon-dating readings.
Turns out a major antique dealer of long standing was running a little laboratory faking artifacts. He was very, very good at it. You may have heard
of one of his other works: the so-called James Ossuary that seemed to give indirect evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ.
Now museums are scrambling to determine what other faked artifacts he may have provided. The news isnít good.
Everything which came to the market in the last 20 years or so, things which did not come from an excavation, should probably be considered a fake
unless otherwise proven.
He just got too greedy. When he started faking items of momentous significance, the level of scientific scrutiny that they attracted was