The ScienceBlogs Book Club

This book review was originally posted by GrrlScientist on Living the Scientific Life.

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There are two different types
of people in the world,
those who want to know,
and those who want to believe.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

In November 2002, an ancient carved limestone burial box designed to hold the disarticulated skeleton of a dead person was put on public display in Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum. Although common throughout Israel, this particular box, known as an ossuary, was unusual because it was inscribed. Even more remarkable, its ancient Aramaic inscription — “Ya’akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua” — translated to read, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” This sent waves of hysteria through the Christian and Jewish communities, causing tens of thousands of faithful to mob the museum. But even before the ossuary was publicly displayed, experts declared the inscription to be a fraud. Unfazed by facts, the religious preferred to believe it was real. In Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land (NYC: Collins; 2008), the author, Nina Burleigh, uncovers the trail followed by forged biblical antiquities, from illegal excavations in Israel to a world-class museum in Canada.

Comments

  1. #1 Badger3k
    June 30, 2009

    Just downloaded this to my Kindle the other day and read it over the weekend. Very good book, and an eye-opener into the world of fraud and forgery (along with the criminal theft of artifacts – you can tell where I stand on the line on antiquities trading). Also learned that Shanks (of BAR fame) is a bigger tool than I thought. Easy read, and very entertaining and captivating. Recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology and mid-east studies.

  2. #2 izmir sohbet
    July 1, 2009

    There are two different types
    of people in the world,
    those who want to know,
    and those who want to believe.

  3. #3 kelebek
    July 1, 2009

    criminal theft of artifacts – you can tell where I stand on the line on antiquities trading). Also learned that Shanks (of BAR fame) is a bigger tool than I thought. Easy read, and very entertaining and captivating. Recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology and mid-east studies.

  4. #4 Hosting
    September 27, 2009

    Easy read, and very entertaining and captivating. Recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology and mid-east studies.

  5. #5 araba oyunları
    December 27, 2009

    a’akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua” — translated to read, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” very goo

  6. #6 pasta oyunları
    December 27, 2009

    a’akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua” Recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology and mid-east studies.

  7. #7 mirc yükle
    August 15, 2010

    Also learned that Shanks (of BAR fame) is a bigger tool than I thought. Easy read, and very entertaining and captivating. Recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology and mid-east studies.

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