Touted Darius inscription is inauthentic, Israel Antiquities Authority clarifies

Photo by Shai Haloy/Israel Antiquities Authorit on 1 March, 2023
The government body confirmed that an expert, who created the inscription as an educational tool, accidentally left it at the dig site.

 The Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Friday that an inscription on an ancient shard uncovered in southern Israel, which it attributed earlier in the week with much fanfare to the Persian King Darius the Great, is not authentic.

On March 1, the state-run archaeological body reported that the discovery of the 2,500-year-old fragment, which visitors found in December at the Tel Lachish national park, was the first bearing an inscription with Darius the Great’s name anywhere in Israel.

The scholar accidentally left the shard on the site, leading to the erroneous identification, per the statement.

Subcribe to The Jewish Link Eblast

“The IAA takes full responsibility for the unfortunate event,” stated Gideon Avni, IAA chief scientist. He noted that a “leading” researcher and an archaeologist studying the site examined the piece. “As an institution that strives for the scientific truth, we are committed to correcting the mistake that was made and making it known to the public.”

The Israel Antiquities Authority said that it will refresh proper procedures and policies with all foreign expeditions working in the country.

The site of the find, the ancient city of Lachish, was a prosperous city and a major administrative hub 2,500 years ago.


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