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"Forged Inscriptions: The Long History and the Recent Deluge of Epigraphic Fakes and Forgeries"

The forging of texts has been around for a very long time.  The ancient Near East had its forgers, so did the Greco-Roman world, and textual forgeries from the Middle Ages are legion in number.  Thus, it is not surprising that during the past 150 years, the fields of Biblical of Ancient Near Eastern Studies has seen a fairly large number of forged inscriptions as well, normally surfacing first on the antiquities market and then making their way into collections and even museums.  Some of these forgeries sell for thousands of dollars, some for tens of thousands, and some have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Dr. Christopher Rollston has been at the forefront of exposing a number of these forged inscriptions, and he also testified for the prosecution in the Israeli forgery trial a number of years ago.  This lecture will focus on some of the most interesting, and most concerning, of the recent inscriptional forgeries and the ways in which the field is trying to stay a step or two ahead of some very talented and well-financed modern forgers.

Dr. Rollston is a Professor of Northwest Semitic languages and literature in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at The George Washington University. 

2019 Valerie
French Memorial Lecturer
Christopher Rollston
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