Friday, 7 April 2017

Fake Dead Sea Scrolls Sold In The US: Products Of Sophisticated Archeological Forgeries

The so-called Dead Sea scrolls are a favourite subject of forgeries, the National Geographic said (Regin Olimberio, 'Fake Dead Sea Scrolls Sold In The US: Products Of Sophisticated Archeological Forgeries' Science Times Apr 4, 2017). Collectors will pay through the nose often no-questions-asked for trophy fragments of these celebrity manuscripts. Forgers work with fragments of ancient parchment to make expert forgeries.
Recently, 48 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls popped up in the US and the numbers are growing. Most of these fragments were sold by unknown individuals who claimed that they were once owned by antiquities dealer Khalil Iskander Shahin [my link PMB], Live Science reported. Since the 1940's, Shahin collected many fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and sold some of them to American collectors. However, Shanin's son William Kando expressed concern over the ballooning number of scroll fragments that are popping up. Kando stressed that the number of claims doesn't match to the scrolls and fragments that their family actually sold - the numbers simply doesn't add up. For example, one claim says that they purchased 15 fragments from the Kandos in 2002 but the family said they sold only 7 in that year.
Kando has recently been making efforts to "authenticate" some of these newly-surfacing Dead Sea Scrolls fragments. I guess that mostly concerns identifying the ones that he can prove were sold by the family.

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