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The Museum of the Bible announced that tests done by Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) in Germany on five of its purported Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) fragments showed that they exhibited "characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin." BAM submitted the group of fragments to a battery of tests, including 3D digital microscopy, scanning X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) material analysis of the ink, sediment layers and chemical nature of the sediment. These five fragments, along with two others which came from the same batch and are also assumed to be forgeries, will no longer be displayed. The museum is not releasing the full report because modern forgers could use the information contained in it to make more authentic-looking forgeries. The museum has nine other purported DSS fragments in its collection that will be tested. Jeffrey Kloha, the chief curatorial officer for Museum of the Bible, said in a statement, "Though we had hoped the testing would render different results, this is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare biblical artifacts, the elaborate testing process undertaken and our commitment to transparency."

Off-site Links:

- https://www.museumofthebible.org/press/press-releases/museum-of-the-bible-releases-research-findings-on-fragments-in-its-dead-sea-scrolls-collection
- https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/arts/design/bible-museum-fake-scrolls-dead-sea.html
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/five-proven-dead-sea-scroll-forgeries-only-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-says-scholar/

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019