Israel Antiquities Authority denies authenticity of shard with Darius inscription

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 Israel Antiquities Authority denies authenticity of shard with Darius' inscription

Official officials are retracting claims of a find related to the father of the king of Purim. It turned out that the fragment was created by an expert showing the students the technique of inscriptions, and accidentally left at the excavation site.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said on Friday that an ancient fragment named after the Persian king Darius the Great, which was announced this week, “is not authentic”.

area of ​​the Judean Lowlands of Israel, was the first find of an inscription with the name of Darius I anywhere in Israel. It was believed that the inscription was a receipt for goods received or shipped.

However, after the publication of information about the find, an expert who participated in the excavations in August last year turned to the Antiquities Administration. She said the inscription was created to show a group of students the way in which potsherds were signed in ancient times.

“She left the shard in place, leading to misidentification. She was interrogated and told it was done unintentionally and without malice”, — The Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

”The Israel Antiquities Authority takes full responsibility for this unfortunate event”, — said Professor Gideon Avni, noting that the subject has been studied by two leading researchers.

”As an institution that strives for scientific truth, we want to correct a mistake that has been made and bring it to the attention of the public. From the point of view of ethical and scientific practice, we consider this as a very serious phenomenon. Leaving the fragment just written in place was careless, which led to the mistake of researchers and the distortion of scientific truth. This proves once again that only finds discovered during controlled archaeological excavations should be considered 100% authentic. All other finds should raise questions about their authenticity”, — Avni emphasized.

According to him, the incident highlighted the problem of identifying new inscriptions on ancient finds, and said that this incident ”will update the proper procedures and policies for all foreign expeditions operating in the country”.

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