[Peter] Thonemann has been very helpful indeed in pinning down one of these. But I find it more important than he does to find out what has been going on. If he really can point us to a workshop, great. But I am a bit wary of his tone. There are aspects of this whole affair worth the trouble of finding out, especially if a serious deception is being practised on the Jordanian Dept of Antiquities – perhaps not the original purpose of these objects, nor even of those who first hawked them around to various institutions (including the British Museum).
I am really worried that unless we can trace the whole history it will be difficult to prevent something seriously stupid happening. So I would like Thonemann to share what he knows, and not worry so much about scholars wasting their time. I do not think much time is actually being wasted. I am retired and can devote a bit of time and energy to exploring this whole thing. Not too much, though.
But I do love a good story and there is one here – not about early Christians, though.
University of Sheffield
One of My Forthcoming Books (2015)