Wednesday 27 April 2011

Jordanian Police Recover Ancient Manuscripts: Oh, What?

There is an odd article being duplicated in a lot of places today (Associated Press: Jordanian Police Recover 7 Ancient Manuscripts, Art Daily April 28, 2011). According to this, Jordan's archaeology chief Ziad al-Saad has announced that security police have recovered seven ancient manuscripts from local smugglers. It then asserts that:
The writings are part of 70 manuscripts that Jordanian archaeologists discovered five years ago in a cave in the north. Later, they were stolen and most were believed to have been smuggled into Israel. Jordan has demanded Israel return the manuscripts but has gotten no response. Ziad al-Saad says the manuscripts were reportedly found by a Bedouin. He says the relics could be among the earliest Christian writings in existence but tests are under way to date them and check their authenticity. Al-Saad said on Tuesday that if verified, the relics could be the most significant find in Christian archaeology since the 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
And if they are not, is going to look pretty stupid. So, let's get this right, now the Jordanians are claiming it was archaeologists who discovered these? If they are the same as those in Israel which David Elkington is plugging, then it was Jordanian archaeologists who claim to have discovered these palpable fakes? Perhaps we may learn the names of these scholars who discovered such world-shattering finds and then rather carelessly for professionals left them on a bus or something? Go on Jordan, give us a laugh, sell the photos of your tablets to the Daily Mail.

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