Last week I received via snail mail (from a contact in Israel) a just-published book entitled “Nazareth: Archaeology, History and Cultural Heritage” (Nazareth Municipality, 2012). On glossy paper, with color photos, bound with thread, it’s a pretty slick production. . . In it is an article by Stephen Pfann (University of the Holy Land, the “brains” behind the Nazareth Village resort), and also an article by the now infamous Yardenna Alexandre. . .
I’m hereby alerting you that the entire book is benign except for one sentence by Alexandre. On p. 32 she announces:
In the excavations at Mary’s Well undertaken in 1997, Late Hellenistic pottery shards and ten coins of the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus (103-73 BCE) were found in the earth fills below the fountain house.
WTF!? But, in truth, I half-expected this. It’s not entirely a surprising, for this coin allegation has been rumored for some time (see my latest Scandal Sheet, http://www.nazarethmyth.info/scandaleight.html). This, however, is a leap to another level–we’re no longer dealing with a rumor but a statement by the archaeologist who excavated at Mary’s Well.
This represents a colossal challenge to myself as well as to mythicists. IMO, the tradition is now resorting to “planting” evidence. That is a shocking but desperate development by any standard.
How does one counter the “planting” of evidence? Wish I knew. . . You will recall that I possess a signed Mary’s Well report (sent via email) from Alexandre dated 2006 in which she makes no mention whatsoever of Hasmonean or pre-Jesus evidence (coins or otherwise). She has evidently “changed her mind” and has now found all these shards and coins from the time of Janneus.
Wow. . . That’s all I can say. The tradition really has brass. Yet Alexandre still resists publishing this incredibly significant information so that others can verify her claims–and she’s had no less than fifteen years to do so! In addition, these new revelations of hers conflict stunningly with the evidentiary profile from the Nazareth basin as exhaustively revealed in my book. I showed (for the first time, incidentally) that “not a single post-Iron Age artefact, tomb or structure at Nazareth dates with certainty before 100 CE” (p. 205).
Tiresomely, Alexandre’s statement is accompanied by a footnote which informs us that a report is “forthcoming.” Right. . .
But such a report might now actually eventuate. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bona-fide scholarly itemization of coins in Nazareth from the time of Janneus appears, perhaps in the next twelve months. I, for one, would be totally unconvinced, for the trail of deception leading to this report is long, loud, and almost predictable. Three years ago I wrote in an article (see American Atheist magazine, Jan. 2009:12) where I noted that “A cache of Hellenistic and Early Roman coins is exactly the sort of evidence which the tradition needs in order to decide the matter in its favor.” James Randi also perceptively alluded to this in his YouTube video dealing with my Nazareth work.
I want you to know: I’ve hit the wall with this latest revelation. Absolutely hit the wall. I’m not going to stand for any more of this degenerating BS from the tradition regarding Nazareth. . . I’ve just approached American Atheists (an organization which I’ve belonged to for many years) with the proposition that they publicly adopt a stand in favor of the mythicist position. I’ve also recommended that they endorse the so-called “Zindler-Salm” hypothesis regarding Nazareth: that it did not yet exist at the turn of the era.
I should have some response from them in a month or so.
Your feedback on this matter is appreciated. Incidentally, you have my permission to mirror this post (or any parts of it) as far and wide as you see fit. . .
Latest posts by Neil Godfrey (see all)
- Imagining an Alternative to Human Rights - 2022-08-09 13:17:59 GMT+0000
- “Some Underlying Tradition” — a review of Writing With Scripture, part 10 - 2022-08-06 14:23:27 GMT+0000
- How (and Why) Jewish Scriptures are used in Mark’s Passion Narrative — a review of Writing with Scripture, part 9 - 2022-08-05 18:30:35 GMT+0000
If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!