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Fadiha on Purim around the alleged inscription bearing the name of the Persian king Darius I, the father of Ahasuerus

A researcher specializing in ancient writing, demonstrated the engraving of words on ancient pottery that she left at Tel Lachish contrary to ethics, which created a deception * The Antiquities Authority will refresh the procedures among all foreign excavation expeditions operating in Israel

Dervish address. Photo: Shai Halevi, Antiquities Authority
Darivosh address (allegedly). Photo: Shai Halevi, Antiquities Authority

The Antiquities Authority announces that the ancient pottery found by travelers at Tel Lakish, bearing the inscription 'Darivash year 24', is not authentic.

Following the publication last Wednesday, yesterday (Thursday) an investigator from abroad, who participated last August in the excavations of a foreign delegation at Tel Lakish, contacted the Authority. This researcher is one of the few in the world specializing in transcriptions of the ancient Aramaic language. The researcher confessed that she demonstrated to a group of students the engraving of the inscription on ancient pottery, and then left the find in the mound - something that in retrospect created a deception. The researcher was interviewed, and according to her, she had no malicious intent.

"The Antiquities Authority takes responsibility for the incident," says Prof. Gideon Avni, the authority's chief scientist. "The pottery was studied by Dr. Hagai Meshgav, a world-renowned expert on ancient Armenian writing, and by the archaeologist Sa'ar Ganor, who studies Tel Lakish, but it turns out that we came across an 'inscription in disguise'. As an organization to which scientific truth is a candle, we are committed to correcting the mistake before the public. "From an ethical-scientific point of view, the incident is very serious. Leaving the engraved address on the site was negligent, and this led to misleading the researchers and disrupting the scientific truth. You can count on one hand events of this type that happened in archaeological research."

"The incident illustrates the danger that exists in adding modern writing on top of ancient objects - a topic that has occupied the scientific community for many years. At the same time as the paleographic examination by an experienced expert, the object was tested in laboratories and found to be ancient pottery. This proves once

Another thing that only an object that is discovered in an orderly excavation and comes out of the ground in the eyes of the archaeologists, is 100% real. Every other object that is discovered raises question marks.”

In light of the event, the Antiquities Authority will refresh the procedures among all foreign excavation delegations operating in Israel.

The original announcement of the Antiquities Authority regarding the alleged discovery - please do not treat it as a scientific finding. father.

An important and rare inscription bearing the name of the Persian king Darius I, the father of Ahasuerus, was discovered

The 2500-year-old pottery with the inscription in Aramaic written on it was discovered by travelers by chance in Tel Lakish National Park * It seems that this is a "note" to confirm the delivery or receipt of goods * The rare ostracon was studied by Sa'ar Ganor from the Antiquities Authority and Dr. Hagai Meshgav from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , and their research will be published in the journal "Antiquities"

For the first time in Israel: an important and rare inscription bearing the name of the Persian king Darius I, the father of Ahasuerus known from the book of Esther, was discovered by travelers in Tel Lakish National Park. The inscription, which was researched by Sa'ar Ganor from the Antiquities Authority and Dr. Hagai Meshgav from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is published in the journal "Atiqot" issue 110, published by the Antiquities Authority.

Last December, Ilon Levy, the international media advisor to the president of the country, was walking along with his friend Yaakov Ashkenazi in Tel Lakish National Park, when a small piece of pottery with an engraving on it caught their attention. After the pottery was handed over for testing, the inscription was transferred to the Antiquities Authority laboratories for preservation and advanced documentation. So, it turned out that this is a rare discovery, which indicates the activity of a state administration in Lakish during the Persian period. 

This is an inscription written in Aramaic and engraved on pottery from about 2500 years ago, and it reads "24th year of Darius". The inscription mentions the name of the Persian king Darius I, the father of Ahasuerus, known from the book of Esther, which is read every Purim holiday. This is the first time that an inscription has been found in Israel that bears the name of King Darius I. During his time (522-486 BC), a comprehensive administrative change was made throughout the empire and its borders expanded. With the ascension of his son Ahasuerus, the Persian Empire reached its peak, ruling almost the entire ancient world.
"When they called to tell me from the Antiquities Authority what we had found, my heart started pumping with excitement" says Ilon Levy, who found the rare pottery. "I was looking for the cameras, I was sure that I was being worked on and that the hoax would soon be discovered."

The video is no longer relevant either

According to the researchers, Sa'ar Ganor from the Antiquities Authority and Dr. Hagi Meshgav from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "In the excavations of the British expedition at Tel about 90 years ago, a magnificent Persian administrative building was uncovered, built on top of the ruins of the palace of the Kings of Judah. In the building, which covered an area of ​​1800 square meters, magnificent courtyards and halls were revealed, at the entrances of which unique column bases were placed, the likes of which have so far only been found in magnificent buildings in Persia (Iran).

The British delegation dismantled the remains of the magnificent building in order to excavate the palace of the Kings of Judah, and except for the bases of the columns, no remains of this building remain in the Tel Lakish National Park. Now, randomly, the address was found on the grounds of the magnificent building.

It seems that this is an administrative note, a kind of ancient "barcode" that recorded the receipt or delivery of goods. According to the number of years of Darius I's reign, the inscription "24th year" can be dated, with great precision, to the year 498/7 BC.

The Land of Israel, which was part of the Persian Empire, raised taxes on agricultural produce as part of the management and control system of the Persian kings throughout the empire. Lachish, which was one of the main cities in the territories of Adomia and Israel during the Persian period, was surrounded by a wall, a temple was built there, and it concentrated the taxes sent to the king's treasury. The collection and delivery operations were carried out in the magnificent building that stands in the heart, and it seems that the address found now is a kind of delivery note, which may have been engraved by a clerk or storekeeper in the state building. The short inscription joins the collection of ancient administrative inscriptions known in the research, and is apparently one of the earliest among those found in Israel - from the beginning of Persian rule.

"It's amazing that travelers find by chance a rare inscription that brings to life Darvish - the Persian king known to us from the sources," says Eli Escozido, director of the Antiquities Authority. "His son, King Ahasuerus, who reigned from India to Kush, certainly did not imagine that 2500 years after the dramatic events in his court that are noted these days, you would find evidence of his father's name in the Land of Israel."


Even if we considered that in an age where every object can be tested by measuring carbon 14 rates and many other ways, it turns out that the objects may not be authentic. Another conclusion is that scientists are also human beings, but only in science can there be such a case of expressing regret following peer criticism, albeit retroactively. It is therefore recommended that institutions try to hold back on publication until after the peer review of a scientific article.

More on the subject on the science website (authentic studies):

5 תגובות

  1. I was on a tour with Saar Ganot a month ago in Tel Lakish. I have a feeling that archaeologists have forgotten their role. He told Tanach stories as if it had archaeological evidence, I pointed out to him that if he wears a PA shirt, he must open the parentheses and emphasize that it has nothing to do with the findings. Sa'ar Gonot also asked not to photograph the tour, according to the law I am allowed to photograph in the public domain, I was already suspicious here. It's time for a home inspection.

  2. Hahaha... when I saw this "archaeological find" for the first time, it was suspicious to me... the engraving is too clear...

  3. How exactly was Ahasuerus' father king? Achsenorosh himself was one of the king's servants himself and married Vashti and thanks to her he became king. In short, go study history. Too many mistakes.

  4. It's pretty lame that a casually engraved object found on the site has been declared authentic by two researchers.
    Such a thing should not happen.

  5. If they had waited another month they would have had it
    A great prank for April 1st.

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