Rolf Furuli's accusation about VAT 4956 being tampered with?

by possiblepineapple 93 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • AnnOMaly

    But does Furuli explicitly state the reason for this alleged conspiracy ?

    As I said a few posts above:

    Furuli doesn't give any plausible motivations for the modern day tampering of this tablet other than either just to create a forgery and mislead people, or to correct the year figures to agree with the 'accepted chronology' (p. 108, 113-115, 137 [3rd revision]).

    There seems no good motive for what is claimed by Furuli.

    He presents nothing convincing as to motive. Speculation. Muddying the waters. All designed to further undermine the trustworthiness of 'worldly' sources (that disagree with WTS dogma) in an already suspicious JW mind, AND as you said before, he can do so without legal backlash because those he implicates in the (hypothetical) forgery are dead.

  • possiblepineapple

    Wait, so he thinks the tablet was broken into 3 pieces by a grinding machine (you know, rather than just being over 2000 years old)? This hypothesis is absurd, no one would go to this much effort for no reason, the idea of using a grinder on a historical artifact would be obscene to any archeologist.

  • possiblepineapple

    I mean people would notice if the artifact suddenly ended up in 3 pieces. Furuli needs to get up and actually have someone study the tablet for clues of tampering, this wild speculation is ridiculous.

  • possiblepineapple

    And surely such unoticable changes wouldn't have been possible during the time this was found, a job like this would surely require modern machinary.

  • AnnOMaly

    Well, on the one hand, F's conjectures that a drill or grinding machine altered the signs ... in which case there would be tell-tale evidence because, as Hunger points out* (as well as common sense telling us), a drill or grinding machine cannot make the same marks on dried clay that a stylus does on wet clay ...

    ... but on the other hand, in response to another of Hunger's rebuttals about adding signs to a dried tablet† F's brings forward an expert who says it is possible for a forger to "reactivate the workability of the dried clay by adding moisture to the area where signs were to be incised" ...

    ... so we're left wondering which hypothesis F. is going with: wet clay tampering or dried clay tampering?

    *F. makes much of the different appearance of the number 38 on the edge of the tablet when compared to other numbers “8”. However, this difference can be explained by the fact that this line is written on the edge. In order to write on the edge, the tablet must be held with the edge up, and the hand cannot be put on the tablet to find support in writing. But whether this explanation is true or not, the number is clearly 38. To assume a different tool is not necessary, but if so the tool can only have been a reed stylus. A drill or grinding machine would never have produced marks like those of a stylus. Since the 37 on the edge is quite normal, F. admits that it may be original, but still supposes that someone may have tampered with the tablet and in this case may have had “a better result than in the case with the number 38” (p. 299).

    On p. 300, F. says, “The conclusion is that there are several clues that the dates were incised into the tablet in modern times, but the evidence is not conclusive either way.” Rather, the conclusion must be that incisions made in modern times are not proven. There exist experts in such matters who could have determined with certainty by which tool the impressions were made. No such experts were consulted by F.


    †As for someone adding the numbers 37 and 38, there is no way of successfully adding cuneiform writing to a dried tablet. The tablet would be too hard to produce a neat writing as is preserved on VAT 4956. There are examples of tablets which were inscribed after they had started to dry; this can be recognized easily (see e.g. Diaries III pl. 209 No. -104 Rev.).

    Also, only trained scribes can produce writing that looks like the ancient one. The modern fakes which F. discusses on p. 96f. are produced from molds, so they are not pertinent. - SOURCE

  • Phizzy

    Prof. Hunger, at the end of his review of Furuli's musings says :

    " This conclusion accuses an unnamed person of criminal acts: this person at least “has tampered with some of the cuneiform signs”, but may even have faked half of the tablet. Since the tablet reached the Vorderasiatische Museum in 1906 and was published in 1915 in the condition reflected by the photo in the Museum’s archives, the accusation concerns any people working there at this time, including e. g. Ernst Weidner. In defence of him and all others possibly involved, I state that the accusation is utterly groundless, and I express my disgust of an author whose “open-mindedness” leads him to such accusations.

    Hermann Hunger

    Vienna "

    Added by Phizzy :Out of the two, Hunger a recognised expert in the field, and Furulli an amateur in the field, whose view do you prefer ?

  • possiblepineapple

    Hoe do you reactivate the workability of the tablet? What method would be used? Has he not mentioned this at all?

  • AnnOMaly

    This is the latest we've been given by Furuli - the full paragraph on p. 293:

    David Hauer has a MA in technical conservation, and he is working for the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. He has also studied how forgers work and how one can identify a forgery. I posed the question to him of whether it is possible to add signs to a dried or burned clay tablet, and in his written answer he said that this is possible. He wrote: "One method would be to reactivte the workability of the dried clay by adding moisture to the area where signs were to be incised, and to work in accordance not to alter the reinforcement fibers. To optimize a homogenous concentration of salts at surface level of the tablet, that is to make the alteration more difficult to trace, one may bring the whole object to exceed the moisture level of saturation for the salts present." Thus, according to this expert, it is possible to add signs to an old clay tablet.

    That's all we got.

  • Bart Belteshassur
    Bart Belteshassur

    ANN- So even I am having trouble with RF's actual posotion regarding the tablet as he appears to argue three seperate cases:

    1. The year sign should be "57" but has been tampered with in 1906 to read "37" when 1914-607 was not an issue of any importance to Russel.

    2. It is a complete forgery and therefore should be ignored.

    3. That it is completely genuine but relates to 587bce where the data has a better fit and not 567bce.

    In the third edition will he or does he make a decision on which corner of his triangle he wishes to support????


  • possiblepineapple

    That sounds like a lot of effort to go to with no real motive. Plus they'd have to be very good at making the writing itself look authentic. This idea just runs into so many problems.

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