Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frustrations about the fish

I know that people are frustrated with the Patio tomb ossuary.  It is okay that there are differing opinions emerging.  This is how scholarship works.  Whenever there is a new find, it is important for us as a community to weigh all the options and decide which opinions best support the evidence so that a hypothesis or two can emerge and some consensus reached.  This may take some years.  The start of this is what is going on right now. 

At this point, there is no single solution.  There are a number of solutions that must be vetted and more investigation is likely going to be necessary.  At this point we have a reading of the ossuary that has been put forth by Simcha and Tabor, and others are now weighing in and presenting their views since this is all new information for all of us. 

I hope that we don't make a war out of this, but can proceed with caution, logic, collegiality and professionalism. 

Let's get all the options out on the table, and talk them through.  The Jonah option is one.  The vase is another.  I think these are the two most logical options at this moment.  What do the ossuary experts say when this image is compared to ossuary art?  We need funerary context to figure this out. 

James Tabor writes in the comments to my previous post on this subject:
Yuval...has said of all the ossuaries in the Bet Shemesh/Rockefeller collection (upwards of 1500 now I think--as Rahmani only goes back to 1989), with at least 350 inscribed (estimate based on Cotton, CIIP) he has never seen anything like our image, that it is definitely not a nephesh or a vessel of any time known on ossuaries. He thinks the fish/Jonah suggestion is the most convincing yet.
Tabor also writes about the image in the same comment on my blog:
What I have said is that none of our photos have been altered, doctored, or photoshopped in any way. They are precisely the images the camera produced taken from the hundreds of hours of video tape and freeze frames taken during the actual process. That is what is false, plus the charge/implication that we are dishonest and manipulate evidence to try to fit a theory. Nothing has been touched. There is no single photo showing the entire image, however, by moving the robotic arm in all positions the complete image is visible. In addition to the photos, to allow people to see the entire image at once, there are CGI images produced by GE Information Technologies. These are clearly labeled as such (see
Tom Verenna continues to think it is a vase of some sort and posted a second round of evidence HERE.


Richard said...

My first impression is that it is an amphora.

Only after "looking" at it, would I consider it a fish.

The three things that detract from it being a fish for me are: (1) no notch in the tail, (2) the fact it is vertical and balancing on a "ball", and (3) the 6 fish near the top of the side are done in a completely different (grossly simplified) style.

There might be good scholarly arguments / reasons why it *should* be considered a fish.

I think one thing that everyone should agree on is that it is not the most skillfully done work. (notwithstanding that the piece on teh side - a window in a wall? - seems to be done with greater skill, since the curve looks far smoother than the one on the fish / amphora).

Is it possible that fish / amphora was added later by a different artist?

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello April and readers,

Good article. There are some late breaking developments that are going to throw a wrench in the Jesus Tomb hype. Seems that the evidence actually points to a Hebrew tomb, not to Christians. Also, there is evidence of a direct relationship to the Book of Revelation's timelines and symbology, also drawing a big question mark over the veracity of Christian timelines.

Illuminating the Talpiot Tomb and Jesus Discovery Controversy

Stay tuned, there will be more stunning details soon.

Buddy Page
Seven Star Hand