Kloner Strips the Naked Archaeologist

At 12 noon today, before an audience of several hundred at Bar Ilan, Kloner basically stripped the naked Archaeologist. In the words of one observer, he ‘owned’ him (much as Cargill did at SBL

Oh to have been there to see Kloner do what he does so well.


22 thoughts on “Kloner Strips the Naked Archaeologist

  1. Joe Zias 27 Dec 2012 at 10:04 am

    Thankfully I was present, it was a powerful, presentation. Kloner spoke for 20 minutes in a very quite, clear and passionate manner, presenting never seen before drawings, black and white photographs, drawings of the ossuary with the amphora sans the face of Jesus, another ossuary with facades which apparently with their multi million dollar deal glossed over, etc and when his time was up, the audience asked the chairperson to let him continue, she looked at the crowd and they were clear about their desire to let him continue. Thankfully she did. It was worthy not of an Emmey, but an academy award. The Naked Arch. sitting about 10 feet away from me on the stairs, rose and shouted an interruption at one point, Kloner, not a person to turn the ‘other cheek’ shouted back ‘don’t interrupt me’ and he sat back down. At the end of the presentation he immediately left the premises, I thought he’d be ‘working the crowd’ as there were many archaeologists and biblical scholars there, but he was nowhere to be seen. In short, Professor Kloner who recently was awarded the Emet (Truth) Award, one of the highest awards an IL academic can be presented with, ‘owned the BAR Crowd, UNC-Charlotte and The Naked Archaeologist’. Colleagues would have been pleased, a stellar performance. T


  2. LC 27 Dec 2012 at 11:14 am

    It is good to hear that Amos Kloner is hitting back. A serious archaeologist like him has clout.


  3. Joe Zias 27 Dec 2012 at 11:52 am

    Amos has been hitting back ever since I’ve known him, more than 4 decades, zero tolerance for any type of academic misdoing, a voice to be reckoned with. You are right however if I understand you correctly, too many colleagues sitting on the sidelines, unwilling to pull the profession off the subway tracks.


  4. Antonio Lombatti 27 Dec 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I wish I could have been there, Joe. Did anyone film the press conference?


  5. LC 27 Dec 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Joe, Amos Kloner has been steady in his attitude and I heard the nice radio interview he gave to DTS’ Darrell Bock soon after the “Jesus family tomb” documentary hit the headlines. After that the only important news seemed to have been the Jerusalem conference arranged by Professor Charlesworth, the topic of the book to be published by Eerdmans later this year. The problem is that many scholars, including some in Israel, wrote articles defending what the documentary/book proposed, and perhaps it is this that made others in the profession sit over the fence?


  6. Nicole 27 Dec 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Simcha left right away because he was interviewed by a journalist as to his reaction. He was asked what questions he would have liked to ask. His questions echo what Zias says above, namely, if Kloner has had all this wonderful material for 33 years, why was it in his drawer at home and not in the IAA archives? If he’s such a wonderful scholar, why didn’t he publish a single scholarly article on the findings? If he’s so sure that the fish is an amphora, why didn’t he use the word “amphora” in the few sentences that he did publish on the tomb? As for the inscription, why did he reveal his drawings of it only now? And if he’s so committed to the scientific pursuit of truth, since the Talpiot tombs are an ongoing IAA sanctioned excavation, why doesn’t he share his information with Rami Arav, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation today?

    This isn’t a boxing match gentleman. This is a serious matter and cheering from the stands a man who has been covering up information for over 33 years, is not a way to get to the bottom of all this.


  7. James Daniel Tabor 28 Dec 2012 at 10:04 am

    I am confused as to what Kloner’s revelation was. I have not gotten the text of his paper, or the drawings he showed, but apparently our photos of both the disputed image and the four line Greek inscription, taken with the robotic arm, parallel his drawings precisely, and in some ways are even clearer. Kloner apparently pointed out that the replica ossuary, which you can see at jesusdiscoverybook.com is precisely accurate and commended the artisan who carved it. So what was new? Kloner offered no interpretation of the inscription to add to the three main ones on the table–mine, Rollston, and Bauckham (who now has published a fourth and final reading, very different from what he first thought). What is clear is that so far there is no consensus on any reading. Kloner stated his view that the image was an amphora, which is fine, though Eric Meyers, Jodi Magness, and Stephen Fine argue otherwise–that it is a tower/nephesh, upside down at that–which would seem much more a stretch than a fish with its head pointing down–which Kloner thought was funny apparently. In fact there are numerous “fish” pointing down in ancient Jewish/early Christian art. Also, if it is an amphora there is no example remotely close to this in style or form. Rami Arav and I did consider this interpretation initially but decided otherwise–I have carefully examined the 22 examples of such amphora I could find on ossuaries from this period and there are no parallels. I have presented my arguments for the fish/Jonah image, including what several other epigraphers have taken to be an inscription YONH in the head of the “fish.” So it seems to me what we have is a debate among colleagues about both the image and the inscriptions. So again, what did Kloner’s presentation add, other than let us know where he stands on the image? I don’t think he said whether he agreed with Rollston or Bauckham, who disagree with each other. I think this language about “stripping” the Naked Archaeologist, like 8th graders cheering from the sidelines, or “Academy Award” performances is unbecoming an academic discussion. I have published my views, on my blog, on ASOR, and at bibleinterp.com, as have others. I say let the discussion continue without the personal aspersions. I am giving a special invited lecture on this topic at the ASOR March meeting in SC with Rollston and Goodacre responding. I very much look forward to the exchange.


  8. Joe Zias 28 Dec 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Nicole, I’m glad that you asked the why question, why this information wasn’t presented earlier ? I’ll answer.
    I’ve known for years that there are some people who will use science and biblical archaeology in particular, for the fast buck, starting with Ron Wyatt who made 92 discoveries or Vendyl Jones, Tabors former partner out there hustling the naive, unsuspecting public.
    Lets start with Tabor and his desire to be in the limelight at any cost along with this transparency which you seem to be arguing for. I first met Tabor in 1992 when he came to speak to me rather vaguely about Masada. It was not until nearly 15 years later that I found out they were on their way to meet the family of the Australian author Donovan Joyce who last saw the manuscript written by Jesus which was stolen by a volunteer on Masada. He saw the ‘Jesus manuscript’ in a toilet stall in the Ben Gurion airport as they were afraid the authorities would steal it. (Jesus Scroll) Not having $5,000 dollars he had to forget about buying it and wrote a book instead. Hard to believe, well they flew to Australia to get the manuscript which was published as The Jesus Scroll and was done again a few yrs ago, now titled Cross Bones.AKA A rehash for cash. Here Tabor who is credited with fact checking over 1,000 facts is identified as an archaeologist, not to mention that anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. Yadin, with whom I worked with is named ca 50 times in the book, along with others which it would seem they were totally unaware that he had died years earlier. Tabor also decided to get involved with David Koresh, went to Waco, to ‘save him’ failed and ca 80 people were killed, one of whom I knew, an IL who got conned into coming to TX and become famous as a rock musician. We raised money to bring his remains back to IL for burial in a shoe box. While most people would prefer not to be involved with Koresh, Tabor not only wrote a book Why Waco but testified in congress on his behalf! Only thing worse that this was their decision to give a Lifetime Achievement Award to our colleague, who took the secret that ‘he knew this was the tomb of Jesus and his family to his grave’ so as not to anger the Christians. Our deceased colleague who never published anything, as he was but an inspector, was not only given the award but is now in court papers listed as a Professor.

    Nicole, Should one provide information to him/them, I once did, befriended them, advised them and regret it to this day.

    Lets take a closer at our honest attempt to present evidence to the BAR Crowd when we told the ‘self styled ‘ liberator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, that we had seen the ossuary at a dealers yrs after Golan claimed to have purchased it. They wrote a 7 page article calling us Liars and then published a photo of the dealer who ‘knoweth not Joseph’ standing by his side. Any word from the BAR crowd, an apology, not one word, but Shanks to his creditm did write a one sentence reply the following issue that ‘the dealer apparently knew Joe Zias.

    Nicole, look what happened when Goodacre presented Tabor and Simcha 17 gross errors in their 2007 doc. which were ignored, he resent them 4 yrs later, again ignored, why, well the film is error after error, make the changes, and one has no film.

    Nicole, As for Kloner it was truly an Academy Award winning performance, timing was perfect as he waited until there was an audience of 300 to present what long was known, but never disclosed and at the end Kloner truly ‘owned him and the BAR Crowd. Had he disclosed it in Chicago at the SBL, it would have been a waste of time as only ca 20 people out of over 10,000 came to hear their defense. We did the same with the 1981 article showing that the tomb had already been published, they hoped no one would know but colleagues knew, and kept quiet, it was only a matter of time. We have a lot of undisclosed information which will eventually be disclosed when the time is right. Case in point is the BAR Crowd publishing that recent Joseph ossuary photo in which they claim that I probably mistook Joseph for the James ossuary, BAR gotcha style of journalism. Little did they know that I had in my possession a photo of the Joseph ossuary some ten years earlier, just waiting for the opportune time to present it and then it came and Shanks became silent.

    I could go on and on, but their standing in biblical archaeology is so low that its become pathetic in what they will try to achieve for fame and fortune. In 2008 they came up with the ‘he took the secret to his grave’ story to be ‘vindicated (Their words) in Feb. their paperback is to appear, which according to Amazon will have a new co-author, fellow from the US soap operas, probably a good actor but a co-author…

    I could go on and on but if you are working part time for AP, better keep your day job as the writing is on the wall. Lastly, best supporting actress award goes to Jonah and the Wail, their fund raiser, for alerting the academic community well in advance as to what was really going on at Olay Ha Gardom number 8. For those of you unable to read Hebrew it means ‘going up to the gallows, which today is rather apropos for a few careers and hopefully will be a lesson to those taking this path for fame and fortune.


  9. James Daniel Tabor 28 Dec 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Wow, I never would have dreamed that now I am blamed for the FBI assault on Waco. All par for the course in the continuing saga of Joe Zias and his slander. As ever Joe has not read the book I wrote on Waco or he would know his facts, but that never seems to bother him. I am surprised you would publish this stuff Jim, as I know you moderate comments.


    • Jim 28 Dec 2012 at 4:26 pm

      i’m an equal opportunity comment poster so long as they aren’t anonymous or blasphemous.


      • James Daniel Tabor 28 Dec 2012 at 5:03 pm

        Well Jim I think slander such as this surely crosses some line but it is your blog and you can do what you want and I will trust that Joe’s incoherent rants are judged for what they are by your noble and astute readers. I usually don’t respond to Joe at all but of late he is hitting four to five sites a day, all over the internet, totally off topic, spreading all sorts of personal slander and lies. And you wonder why Simcha is suing him? I do learn from Joe though. How would I have known that we now have a co-author of our paperback version of The Jesus Discovery out in February? I had no idea. Simon & Schuster must have slipped him in without even letting Simcha and me know. And an actor from the TV soap operas at that? Amazing.


        • Jim 28 Dec 2012 at 5:05 pm

          i think if i were being sued i’d be pretty fired up myself. different folk respond differently to stressors. some fight back vociferously and some fight quietly and some just remain silent. and everything in between.


  10. James Daniel Tabor 28 Dec 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Joe, back to the subject. Beyond your rant against me which I will ignore, what was it that Kloner presented that you consider to be new? I still don’t get it? See my post above if you care to stay on topic. I think this post of West’s was about Kloner’s lecture yesterday right? A drawing of the ossuary image that Kloner said was identical to our camera shots? That he thinks it is an amphora–which has been discussed for a month, with several other proposals on the ASOR blog, the inscription, which also we have had now for months with differing readings? I was not there but what was it that Kloner presented that you find so new, or so masterful? And why, decades before any of us came along in 2010 with the camera investigation, would he not have turned in his finding to the IAA as most archaeologists do after an excavation…or at least after 33 years?


  11. James Daniel Tabor 28 Dec 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Entre nous: Well you have a point there Jim, but if you wrote things like Joe does, even here in this post, slandering others in this way, maybe you would be sued. I am not the suing type I guess or I would probably have more cause than Simcha. You would not believe the letters filled with lies that he has written my friends, my agent, my dean, provost, chancellor, publisher. Beyond the pale. I still try the “turn the other cheek” thing, and even bless your enemies, so much as it lies within me. But it is hard at times. I find myself caught in a strait between the two scriptural adages: Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceits; and Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Hard to know at times what is best but I do know that I have always done Joe good and never evil in any way at any time, ever, and he has responded 100-fold with venom and lies.


  12. Eldad Keynan 28 Dec 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Gibson reports in his NEA 69 article that 10 ossuaries have been transferred from the Talpiot Tomb a to the warehouse and Zias was there and received them. Later, Rahmani catalogued only 9. One apparently went missing. I call Zias again to tell the world: what happened to number 10?
    I would also ask Zias to tell us what was the subject of his M.A. and how this work is connected to ancient bones, whether in Jerusalem or the vicinity of Chicago.


  13. Eldad Keynan 28 Dec 2012 at 5:58 pm

    “Kloner Strips the Naked Archaeologist”. Nice, impressive title indeed. I was there yesterday like many others. I believe that when one is so cinfident, one should not get off the podium so rapidly, while allowing no questions at all. You got to face the people you attack to strip them naked. You can’t do that when you leave the podium as if the devil himself is after you.


    • Jim 28 Dec 2012 at 5:59 pm

      post titles is just one of my many spiritual gifts.


  14. LC 28 Dec 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Amos Kloner said what he had to say and apparenty left in a hurry to avoid repeating what happened at the Jerusalem conference.


  15. […] in Jacobovici’s films, but more recently he has denounced the filmmaker. On Thursday, Kloner laid into Jacobovici at an archaeological conference at Bar-Ilan University, rubbishing his revelations and saying the […]


  16. Eldad Keynan 29 Dec 2012 at 4:04 am

    March 1980 – a professional team discovers the Talpiot Tomb a. 1996, Atiqot 29, 16 years later: first scientific article on that tomb published. Probably a world record of 16 years gap. The holder: Prof. Kloner. Can anyone break this record? Only one person. April 1981, the tomb known today as the Patio tomb (Kloner’s number 1050) discovered. 2006: Kloner published a few details. 25 years gap! An astonishing world record! 12/2012, only six years later, and after the figures have been published a year earlier, Kloner shows the so called hand made drwaings he made back in 1981, but kept them secretly for 31 years! Another world record. What next? Should we expect the bones from the Jesus son of Joseph ossuary?


  17. LC 29 Dec 2012 at 4:06 pm

    It is unfair to state that Professor Kloner kept his material “secretly” and this raises the question, What exactly is the “secret” that has now been revealed? It seems he acted somewhat like Professor Eleazar Sukenik, that’s all.


  18. […] in Jacobovici’s films, but more recently he has denounced the filmmaker. On Thursday, Klonerlaid into Jacobovici at an archaeological conference at Bar-Ilan University, rubbishing his revelations and saying the […]


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