Professor Goren maintains in a statement that his use of a backhoe occurred not on the tell at Tel Sochoh, but “in a valley south to it,” where he had found “waste remains of a ceramic workshop.” His first attack on this area (Area B) was to measure standard 5x 5 meter squares, one of which can be seen in the picture, followed by careful excavation by hand. After a week of digging and finding nothing, Goren decided to finish the job with “a [mechanical] digger to make sure that no archaeological remains existed at what was apparently virgin soil.”
The statement by Tel Aviv University archaeologists states that “There was no use of a mechanical excavator on Tel Socoh. The slide shown in the ad illustrates work carried out in a wadi (valley) near the mound, as a sequel to a systematic manual excavation from the surface. . . This is a common method in archaeology.”
Two things: first, BAR does not attribute either of these statements, nor the remainder of the mentions of the Tel Aviv University statement. And second, if BAR fails to cite its sources, it has engaged in plagiarism. Readers not knowing better will imagine that Goren spoke directly to BAR but that is hardly even a remote possibility. And it’s clear that the Tel Aviv statement wasn’t sent to BAR (or for that matter, to Simcha, who also makes use of it without attribution of the source and who accordingly is also exposed as a plagiarist).
This means that BAR has, self evidently, engaged in plagiarism. Such behavior may be common among the bloggers (and it is) but print publications which fancy themselves of the scholarly genre should do better.
- A Statement By the Faculty of Tel Aviv University Concerning an Advert in Biblical Archaeology Review (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Simcha’s Not Being Honest (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)