Tuesday, April 01, 2014

New Article on Authenticity of the James Ossuary

A new article in the Open Journal of Geology strengthens the case for the authenticity of the inscription on the James Ossuary. The article was written by Amnon Rosenfeld, Howard R. Feldman, Wolfgang E. Krumbein and is available for free download. The abstract gives a sense for the technical detail involved in the study.

An archaeometric analysis of the James Ossuary inscription “James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus” strengthens the contention that the ossuary and its engravings are authentic. The beige patina can be observed on the surface of the ossuary, continuing gradationally into the engraved inscription. Fine long striations made by the friction of falling roof rocks continuously crosscut the letters. Many dissolution pits are superimposed on several of the letters of the inscription. In addition to calcite and quartz, the patina contains the following minerals: apatite, whewellite and weddelite (calcium oxalate). These minerals result from the biogenic activity of microorganisms that require a long period of time to form a bio-patina. Moreover, the heterogeneous existence of wind-blown microfossils (nannofossils and foraminifers) and quartz within the patina of the ossuary, including the lettering zone, reinforces the authenticity of the inscription.


The James ossuary was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum from November 15, 2002 to January 5, 2003.

HT: G. M. Grena



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