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Jerusaelem Forgery Conference Report

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In January 2007, the Biblical Archaeology Society convened a conference in Jerusalem of leading scholars from all over the world to assess a number of well-known Biblical artifacts that had in recent years been labeled as forgeries. If these artifacts are in fact genuine, they would have a major impact on our knowledge of the Biblical world.

Biblical Archaeology Review editor Hershel Shanks has written a detailed report on this important conference. He introduces the participants and their specialties and explains how their various fields of expertise can help assess the genuineness of the artifacts.

The expert consensus that emerged from the conference is frequently at odds with how these Biblical artifacts have been portrayed in the press over the past five years. The participants also discussed how scholars should approach objects that have come from the antiquities market: Should they be avoided altogether, as some scholars and scholarly organizations have urged, or should they be studied for the valuable information on the ancient world they frequently contain?

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