Ten Key Points on Authenticity of Artifacts

Listen to Gabriel Barkay outline ten key points all scholars should agree on in judging issues of authenticity of artifacts. Listen now.

Posted in Artifacts and the Bible, Audio.

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  1. SHARON says

    It was riviting to hear this talk by Dr. Barkay. It made me feel like I was at the table…Many thanks for putting it online. Sharon Lee Brown

  2. Dolores B says

    TY Dr Barkay, It was informative and most helpful in my studies as a student of Bib Arch. You have brought me back to open-mindedness. Reading so many articles by renowned scholars casting stones at one another, I was beginning to be too greatly opinionated as to whom credibility should be given.

  3. Harold says

    Dr. Barkay is a cool guy.

  4. Marcus says

    Being accustomed to taking notes of Dr. Barkay’s lectures in class at Jerusalem University College, I also jotted down his 10 Key Points here as I listened, and share them for the benefit of others. It’s just an outline though; it lacks all of his examples and supporting arguments contained in the fullness of the audio recording:

    1)The importance of expertise, knowledge and experience in the subject.

    2) The primary matter in establishing the authenticity of an inscription is by people from the humanities: epigraphers, paleographers, linguists, archaeologists, historians, people who are able to see the complete picture.

    The opinions of geologists, geomorphologists, physicists, and chemists are secondary.

    3) The fixing of the authenticity of objects, especially inscribed objects, is a matter of time.

    4)The usual procedure in establishing authenticity is by articles pro and con.

    No committee and no court can establish the authenticity of an inscription.

    5) The “TGTBT” (“Too Good To Be True”) Principle is not acceptable. One should not dismiss the authenticity of an inscription on the basis that it is too good to be true.

    6) There is an immense importance to context and controlled excavations, but even in controlled excavations there are surprises and objects which do not fit the stratigraphy. Therefore we should not dismiss an inscription a priori just because it doesn’t originate from a controlled excavation.

    Some of the most important inscriptions come from the dumps (e.g. the Gezer Calendar, the Shishak inscription and the Gilgamesh fragment from Megiddo).

    7) The existence of linguistic and paleographic anomolies is not reason to dismiss inscriptions and say that they are fakes or forgeries. (That is like saying there is no such animal because I have not seen it before in the zoo).

    There are anamolies in provenanced inscriptions and every ancient inscription has some peculiar characteristics of its own, some of which do not fit the rules and laws of either linguistics or paleography.

    8) The a priori assumption should be that all scholars dealing with inscriptions and their publishing have personal integrity, unless proven otherwise.

    9) The scholarly community should agree that every member of the scholarly community is an honest person, unless proven otherwise.

    10) In archaeology, the time factor is important. There is a certain maturity that scholarship has to arrive at and then draw conclusions. With further discussion, studies and analyses of the material sciences and contributions and time we will be able to cast a better judgment.

  5. brian says

    sounds like an infomercial on the authenticity of the James ossuary to me!

  6. Zachary says

    We did an interview with Dr. Barkay disscuss the same topic, Part 1


    Part 2:


  7. Maryellen says

    Dr.Barkley, I need to Speak with You Adap. I have Several Hustorical Biblical Artifacts and need your Gelp! Maryellen

  8. phyllis says

    Very good. I also enjoy seeing Dr. Barkay on television. Phyllis M.

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