At a press conference held this morning in Jerusalem, officials from the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced that an ancient stone box with the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” was a fake. The authority also determined that the “Joash inscription,” a stone tablet with fifteen lines of ancient Hebrew detailing improvements at the Temple, was a forgery. Israel Insider reported details proving the ossuary a fake last November.
The inscriptions on both items were made “in the modern era,” the Antiquities Authority announced.
The stone burial box, known as an ossuary, attracted international attention when the Biblical Archaeological Review announced its discovery and it was thought to be one of the oldest archaeological links to the biblical figures.
But doubts as to the ossuary’s authenticity arose soon after the announcement. Excerpts like Rochelle I. Altman, writing for Israel Insider, determined that the inscription linking the ossuary to James was actually written by two different people, and the Jesus reference was apparently added later.