Archaeologists’ mistake: an “ancient” inscription on a piece of ceramic that appears to have been applied recently | outside

It turns out that the “ancient” inscription on a piece of ceramic presented Wednesday by Israeli authorities as a “great historical discovery” is in fact new. Archaeologists have concluded that the engraving was not made 2,500 years ago, but last summer.

After all the media attention on the discovery, an expert who took part in an excavation expedition in August contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the government agency that handles preservation. She said that the inscription is incorrect. The expert had made the engraving herself “while demonstrating to a group of students how to engrave the pieces in ancient times.”

Then the shell was left at the excavation site, which led to its misidentification. “She was questioned and she said it was unintentional and unintentional,” he said. Times of Israel.

“The Antiquities Authority bears full responsibility for the unfortunate event,” said Gideon Avni, chief scientist at the Antiquities Authority. The piece was studied by two senior researchers prior to its initial publication. “As an institution that strives for scientific truth, we are committed to righting a wrong that has been made and making it public.”

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The discovery of the shell was worldwide news, as the inscription was thought to be the first ever to bear the name of the Persian king Darius the Great. The pottery shard, inscribed “24th year of Darius”, was found by a wanderer near the ancient site of Lachish, a thriving city and important administrative center 2,500 years ago. The inscription will be a receipt for goods received or shipped.

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Archaeologist Sar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Association told the audience last week about the “ancient” inscription. © Reuters

Darius I ruled from 522-486 BC, at a time when the Persian Empire was growing rapidly and encompassing much of the ancient world. No written evidence of Darius’ rule in Israel has been found. Darius was the father of King Ahasuerus, an important figure in the Jewish tradition associated with the Purim holiday. The holiday, which will be celebrated again next week, commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from extermination.

Avni says the site was not a “controlled archaeological excavation site,” so the authenticity of the find should have been questioned. In terms of ethical and scientific practices, we consider this to be a very serious event. Leaving the newly engraved fragment on the spot was careless and led to the error made by the researchers and distorted the scientific truth.”

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