The Museum of the Bible says it had the independent testing done on 16 Dead Sea Scrolls in its collection. Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are held under tight control by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
The cave of Qumran place of the dead Sea Scrolls where found.
The Museum of the Bible raised eyebrows even before opening its giant bronze, Latin-inscribed gates: its primary financial backer is billionaire Steve Green, whose arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby has supported conservative causes in Washington.
Academics study the texts' script, handwriting, grammar and language, as well as whether it fits with the cultural context it theoretically came from, Baden said.
Month before its grand opening in November 2017, the museum was forced to pay $3 million (€2.6 million) in a settlement for its part in acquiring some 5,500 smuggled artifacts, including ancient clay cuneiform tablets, from Iraq.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1946 and 1956.
The announcement has serious implications not only for the Bible Museum, but for other evangelical Christian individuals and institutions who paid top dollar for what now seems to be a massive case of archaeological fraud. It is no longer legal to purchase historical artifacts under a UNESCO Convention.
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The Museum of the Bible entrance in 2017 in Washington.
But last week the museum received scientific verification via digital and X-ray testing of the ink, sediment layers and chemical composition, which proved conclusively that the fragments were forged. Kipp Davis of Trinity Western University has been doing research on the fragments which is funded by the museum.
"MOTB [Museum of the Bible] published the initial research on its scroll fragments in 2016, but scholarly opinions of their authenticity remain divided". The scrolls were created between the early 1st century B.C. and 70 A.D. Most were written in Hebrew, while a few were written in Aramaic and Greek. The Jordan Museum, Amman. The chief curator of the museum is quoted by the Guardian as stating that "we had hoped the testing would render different results".
The Museum of the Bible had a third-party lab test five of its 16 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments, and they didn't pass.
These are not the first fake Dead Sea Scrolls to have fooled the experts. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. At the time, the museum's director of collections, David Trobisch, noted that forging ancient texts is an extremely complex affair.
But a year ago, Hobby Lobby agreed to return almost 4,000 artifacts to Iraq after they were found to have been looted from Iraqi archaeological sites. At the time, they were deeply involved in the antiquities trade, amassing a collection of some 40,000 artifacts.
The museum removed the five Dead Sea Scrolls fragments that were questioned, but will continue to display three different fragments, pending analysis of those specific fragments' authenticity. Moreover, it shows that further caution is required over the issue of determining the authenticity of historical artifacts and that any overreliance on unregulated private individuals in the antiquities trade could be risky.