BUSTED! (Again)

Stealing is despicable…..but the theft of culture is unforgivable…..

Looks like the Green Family of Hobby Lobby fame has been caught again with stolen artifacts….this time one of the oldest sagas in history….the Epic of Gilgamesh….and must return it to where it belongs….

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet bought by the Hobby Lobby for display in the Museum of the Bible should be returned to Iraq, US federal prosecutors said in a civil complaint Monday. The cuneiform tablet is inscribed with a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, hence, its name: the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet. NBC News reports Hobby Lobby purchased it for $1.6 million in 2014 by a major auction house that is unnamed in the complaint. That auction house allegedly told Hobby Lobby the tablet, one of 12 bearing the creation story, was acquired in San Francisco prior to 1981. The complaint details a different backstory. One part of it, per NPR: In 2013, the person who possessed the tablet at the time allegedly got in touch with the auction house’s London office with an offer to sell it.

But the auction house’s antiquities department head was reportedly told the tablet’s provenance was not iron-clad, meaning a public auction wouldn’t be possible. Hobby Lobby acquired it in a private sale that next year. Three years later, in July 2017, the company agreed to pay a $3 million fine over thousands of artifacts it acquired without verifying their provenance; federal authorities said they had been smuggled out of Iraq. In October 2017, a Museum of the Bible curator doing provenance research on the Gilgamesh tablet reached out to the auction house. A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division notes “the Auction House withheld information about the tablet’s provenance,” leading the museum to realize something was amiss. Agents from the HSI division seized the tablet last year.

I have written about all the problems this family has had with their Museum of the Bible…..it seems it is full of stolen artifacts and fakes…..which cost the family millions to acquire.

https://lobotero.com/2020/05/17/a-sucker-born-every-minute-3/

https://lobotero.com/2020/03/19/theft-of-culture/

Desperation leads to stupidity and that leads to loss of money……and yet this group has been caught many times with stolen artifacts and yet they pay a fine and go on stealing the culture and history of other people….all in the hope of proving a premises….if it were anybody other than some religious twats they would be under a jail.

Time for people like these to be taught a valuable lesson and made to pay dearly for their crimes.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Sucker Born Every Minute

I have written several times about the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, being conned in their endless search to prove the Bible is a historic document.

The family has scanned the world for artifacts that can prove the existence of everything in the Bible and in doing so has been caught with fakes and stolen artifacts…..read the story so far……https://lobotero.com/2020/03/19/theft-of-culture/

It looks like they were conned yet again…..

Dirk Obbink seemed eerily calm when a reporter knocked on his door near Oxford University last year. “I’d like to tell it,” the scholar said of his alleged role in a major antiquities scandal. “But I’m under a duty not to speak about the matter while it’s under investigation.” But that reporter, Ariel Sabar, has untangled the byzantine tale of how Obbink—a world-renowned classicist from Nebraska—allegedly made millions selling stolen papyri to US evangelicals, including a New Testament fragment that set the world of biblical studies on fire. In Sabar’s Atlantic piece, Obbink is portrayed as a legitimate papyrologist enticed by money. And in the Green family, who own the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby, he appears to have found the perfect mark.

The gospel fragment is one of several Obbink apparently sold to Hobby Lobby for the Green family’s Museum of the Bible and falsely dated to “circa 100 AD,” making them unique—the only New Testament fragments from the century in which Jesus is said to have lived and showing how his earliest chroniclers portrayed him. But those documents weren’t Obbink’s to sell. The scholar was arrested in April and accused of selling artifacts from Oxford’s Sackler Library, which was housing ancient texts on loan from the Egypt Exploration Society, per ArtNet. Now Obbink is out of an Oxford job and facing an uncertain future. But he maintains his innocence, saying that incriminating documents “have been fabricated in a malicious attempt to harm my reputation and career.” Click for Sabar’s full article.

Apparently this family has never heard the saying “buyer beware”…..ignorance and greed work well together and the Green family is proof of how profitable ignorance can be.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Little History Update

These days of doom and gloom around the Covid-19 has many of us frustrated and looking for anything but bad news…..so why not read a little history?

I am a historian and conflict analyst and one thing I dislike is the stealing of a culture like looted artifacts of Iraq and Palestine……I wrote about this recently and in the past……https://lobotero.com/2020/03/19/theft-of-culture/

When I wrote about this before there were 4 of 16 Dead Sea Scrolls that were fakes….well that diagnosis has been revised to ALL 16 are fakes…..

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, opened to great fanfare in November 2017. Among its most prized acquisitions featured at the opening were 16 purported fragments of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. But in a blow to the fledgling museum, an independent scientific analysis has now revealed that all 16 of those fragments are modern forgeries. While the identity of the forgers remains unknown, it seems all 16 came from the same source, although they were purchased from four different sellers. The full report from Art Fraud Insights is available here.

“After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic,” Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights, wrote in the final report. “Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the 20th century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.”

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/all-16-dead-sea-scroll-fragments-in-the-museum-of-the-bible-are-fakes/

This place is a hotbed of thievery and lies….deception of the faithful.

Then there is the inscription on a stone tablet about the “resurrection”……

A mysterious tablet bearing a Roman emperor’s orders from around 2,000 years ago has long been thought by some scholars to refer to early Christian claims of Jesus’ resurrection from a tomb in the Middle Eastern village of Nazareth. But new research has opened up an entirely different possibility —that the marble slab issued a general demand for law and order after Greek islanders vandalized the tomb of their recently deceased ruler

Instead, a chemical analysis of the marble puts its origins in a quarry on the Greek island of Kos, near Turkey’s southwestern coast, says a team led by Roman historian Kyle Harper of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. That suggests the unnamed emperor’s edict, decreeing that anyone who disturbs tombs and graves or destroys corpses be killed, was a response to a break-in at the grave of a Kos tyrant named Nikias by his former subjects, the researchers report in the April Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Nikias ruled Kos during the 30s B.C. before being overthrown.

The Nazareth Inscription’s origins may refute ties to Jesus’ resurrection

Another fake…like the burial box of Jesus’ brother James…..like the nail from the cross….like so much more that charlatans try to pass off as religious artifacts.

The Gospel of John may be a forgery……

There are four versions of the life of Jesus in the New Testament but, let’s face it, everyone has a favorite. For most people, that preferred version is the Gospel of John. Not only is the fourth Gospel the most poetic and ‘spiritual’ of Gospels, it’s also the most theologically weighty.

It’s in John that Christians find the evidence for many of the dogmatic claims that form the bedrock of Christian belief. And it’s John that supplies the pithy quotes about faith, eternal life, and love that you find on coffee mugs and laminated bookmarks.

Now new research, which claims that the Gospel of John is an ancient forgery, is poised to overturn much of what we know about everyone’s favorite biography of Jesus.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/everyones-favorite-gospel-the-gospel-of-john-is-a-forgery-according-to-new-research

Go figure since a lot of the Old Testament is in an older document entitled the Saga of Gilgamesh from the Sumerian city state of Uruk. from around 2800 BCE.

A few thoughts on how some will try and cheat those that are devout…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Theft Of Culture

As a historian and an amateur archeologist I find little more disgusting than the theft of artifacts….that is stealing a people’s culture and history.

One of the largest “hobby shops” is Hobby Lobby and the owner of the corporation has also opened a museum of the bible…..within that “museum” many stolen artifacts were found in the displays…..in short I wrote about these before…..first about 5 years ago and then 3 years on…..https://lobotero.com/2015/10/28/speaking-of-good-christians/ and https://lobotero.com/2018/05/03/the-theft-of-history/

I bring this up because more artifacts, which should belong to the Palestinians and the Israelis, the Dead Sea Scrolls on display in the “museum” have found to be fakes…..

It would be more accurate to call the “Dead Sea Scrolls” at a museum in Washington, DC, the “Old Sandal Fakes,” researchers say. A team of art fraud experts spent six months analyzing the supposed scroll fragments at the Museum of the Bible and concluded that billionaire Steve Green, owner of the Hobby Lobby chain, had paid millions of dollars for forgeries that were probably made from Roman-era shoe leather made to resemble ancient parchment, the Guardian reports. The company hired to examine the fragments said they all appeared to be “deliberate forgeries created in the 20th century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.” The museum says it will remove the scroll fragments from display while it is closed during the coronavirus crisis.

The researchers say the forgers imitated the writing of ancient Hebrew scribes and coated the leather in “shiny amber material … most likely animal skin glue,” the BBC reports. In 2018—a year after the $500 million museum opened—scholars determined that at least five of its 16 scroll fragments were fakes. The original scrolls were found in caves on the shore of the Dead Sea in 1947. Experts say the researchers’ finding cast doubt on all 70 of the supposed scroll fragments that went on the market after 2002, when an antiquities dealer’s son claimed to have found them in a family vault. Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, the museum’s chief curatorial officer, says the “sophisticated and costly methods employed to discover the truth about our collection could be used to shed light on other suspicious fragments.”

Sucks being them, Hobby Lobby, when you try to prove something that may be unable to prove you will fall for every con known to man.

If any of those artifacts are real then they belong to the nation of their origin….the West has already stolen more artifacts than they have returned.

Just saying…….

Please take the time to read the links I have provided……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Ancient Mystery

Today must be mysteries day……

Another mystery may have been solved…..this time it is a religious artifact….the Shroud of Turin…..do you know what it is?

Supposedly it is the shroud that the body of Christ was wrapped in after death and before the resurrection……there have been many theories over the years about is it really or is it not?

The Shroud of Turin is supposedly the burial cloth that was wrapped around Jesus after his crucifixion; bloodstains on the linen shroud, which are said to have been transferred to it during the three days Jesus was in the tomb, form the image of a crucified man. But a new study reported in the Journal of Forensic Sciences finds the bloodstain image was likely faked. Researchers looking at the blood spatter found that the stains appeared to come from someone standing up, rather than someone who was flat on the fabric, Science Alert reports. As the researchers put it, the stains are “totally unrealistic” when compared to what they should look like. The shroud, which is held in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Italy, is considered an icon, as opposed to a genuine religious relic, by the Vatican; Fox News notes “the church has never weighed in on its authenticity.”

“This is the kind of forensic work done all the time in police investigations,” the forensic scientist who conducted the analysis tells BuzzFeed News. “Even a crucified or hanging person should leave a distinct blood pattern on the cloth, which would be fascinating information to have.” The study found inconsistent staining, with researchers concluding multiple poses were used to create the bloodstains—a standing model was likely used to imprint patterns on the cloth at various angles for various body parts. Another bloodstain pattern expert notes that more research could be done to see whether cleaning a body or preparing it for burial might account for the inconsistent staining, though he notes that the stains do appear to have come from flowing blood, meaning a heart that was beating at the time the stains were made. (See previous stories in the real-or-fake debate here.)

This probably will not stop the debate because if you want to believe it is what it is then nothing will change your mind….science is never the friend.

Keep in mind that all sorts of “relics” have been found in the last few decades in the Holy Land  most have been proven to be fakes….but to people that must have hard proof of the religion will grasp at anything that promises to explain everything.

It usually doesn’t explain anything.

My final post of the day….be well, be safe…..chuq

The Theft Of History

Closing Thought–03May18

As a history wonk and have been to many historical sites I was sadden by war and the theft of historic artifacts…..they say that ISIS is using the stolen artifacts to fund their operations ……

I think anyone that buys stolen artifacts needs to be shot for stealing a people’s history…..and one of the biggest thieves was American company Hobby Lobby….

When their Museum of the Bible was busted for having massive amount of stolen artifacts I post this post….

https://lobotero.com/2015/10/28/speaking-of-good-christians/

Now they have returned many of the artifacts in the Museum…….

Hobby Lobby’s “passion for the Bible” may have made it a bit overzealous when it came to purchasing antiquities from other lands. The arts and crafts retailer obtained thousands of illegally smuggled artifacts from Iraq in 2010—then subsequently agreed to send them back—and now that day has come. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced that 3,800 of the 5,500 ancient items purchased from dealers in the UAE and Israel will be sent back to Iraq on Wednesday, per NPR. The cuneiform tablets (some from the ancient Sumerian city of Irisagrig), cylinder seals, and other items are “mostly legal and administrative documents, but also include an important collection of Early Dynastic incantations and a bilingual religious text from the Neo-Babylonian period,” an ICE statement notes.

“These pieces are very important to us and they should be returned home … to Iraq, to the rightful owner of these pieces,” an Iraqi Embassy official tells NPR. The DOJ had filed a civil action complaint in July 2017 after Hobby Lobby purchased the artifacts for $1.6 million, with the intention of displaying them in the Museum of the Bible it opened last fall in Washington, DC. That purchase was made despite the company being warned by an archaeological ace that the artifacts could be stolen and that Hobby Lobby should make sure to definitively identify them. Some of the artifacts that came into the company’s possession were mislabeled on either their contents or place of origin. It’s not clear if Hobby Lobby, which said it made “regrettable mistakes” during the purchase, knew the artifacts were obtained illegally, or the status of the other 1,700 artifacts it purchased in the 2010 deal.

Will these bastards go unpunished?  They did not know they were stolen?  They spent $1.6 million and did not vet the people they were doing business with…..they knew!  Now the question is what will be their sentence for buying stolen goods?

If it were me I would be under the jail and the key thrown away….but this is a corporation and “good Christians and they will get off scott free.

Talk about BS….this is it a big pile of it.

Psi Phi Society Discussion Group–Spring Session

Sunday and I would like to report on the Psi Phi (ΨΦ) Discussion Group Spring Session…..not affiliated with SciFi genre in any way……

The group is a formation of several friends that get together about 4 times a year for a dinner and drinks and a discussion  of a subject chosen by the group…..members are me, a high school history teacher, professor of archeology, a nurse, a computer programmer, a math teacher and an anthropologist…..if there cannot be at least 5 members for a meeting then we postpone to a later date….I had to miss the Winter Meeting because of my surgery and recovery….I did get updates on what was covered by friends……

We meet at a local steak house owned by a friend…..we have a good meal, drinks and then the selection of a subject……we all write a subject on a piece of paper and put into a stainless steel bed pan….the owner of steak house picks the subject out of that bed pan.

The lucky topic was the Voynich Manuscript…..Written in Central Europe at the end of the 15th or during the 16th century, the origin, language, and date of the Voynich Manuscript—named after the Polish-American antiquarian bookseller, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912—are still being debated as vigorously as its puzzling drawings and undeciphered text. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a provincial but lively character, drawn in ink with vibrant washes in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue, and red.

Based on the subject matter of the drawings, the contents of the manuscript falls into six sections: 1) botanicals containing drawings of 113 unidentified plant species; 2) astronomical and astrological drawings including astral charts with radiating circles, suns and moons, Zodiac symbols such as fish (Pisces), a bull (Taurus), and an archer (Sagittarius), nude females emerging from pipes or chimneys, and courtly figures; 3) a biological section containing a myriad of drawings of miniature female nudes, most with swelled abdomens, immersed or wading in fluids and oddly interacting with interconnecting tubes and capsules; 4) an elaborate array of nine cosmological medallions, many drawn across several folded folios and depicting possible geographical forms; 5) pharmaceutical drawings of over 100 different species of medicinal herbs and roots portrayed with jars or vessels in red, blue, or green, and 6) continuous pages of text, possibly recipes, with star-like flowers marking each entry in the margins.

We all went the printer and printed out the pages and an hour to work out our version of the meaning……

Of course this argument went on and on and no ….and as normal there was no consensus to its meaning…..

I have enclosed a couple of sites in case you would like to join in the debate……

http://www.voynich.nu/

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/voynich-manuscript-solution/

http://www.edithsherwood.com/voynich_decoded/

This is a fascinating topic and one that is a joy to attempt to de-code…..try it…it can be addicting.

In case inquiry minds want to know….I ate a 8 oz Filet with baked potato with lots of butter and sour cream with a small salad with blue cheese dressing…..and a glass of Pinot Noir (name withheld until I am compensated)…….

Peace Out my friends…..chuq

The First Computer?

Saturday and Lived through Black Friday…..now move on to other important stuff…..but first, the Macy’s Parade….ever notice that those inflated nightmares are a symbol of the inflated egos of most Americans?

The first computer?  A device found in the Aegan many years ago is a complex mechanism from an era that may not have had such knowledge (according to mainstream archeologists)…….there has been a wealth of opinions on just what it is……and the research has continued…..

(Newser) – The incredible Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator unlike anything else that appeared for the next 1,000 years, is a “device out of time,” experts say—and they now have a better idea what time it is out of. The mechanism, which was apparently able to accurately predict eclipses and the positions of the planets, was initially believed to have been built around 100BC. But researchers analyzing the device’s own calendar and comparing it to Babylonian eclipse records discovered that it begins more than a century earlier, in 205BC, reports the New York Times. The machine found on an ancient shipwreck appears to use Babylonian arithmetical methods known to the Greeks instead of trigonometry, the researchers write in the journal Archive for History of Exact Sciences.

The finding means that the mysterious device was already pretty ancient by the time it went down some time around 70BC to 60BC with a ship carrying a bride and her dowry, io9 reports. Researchers have long speculated that great Greek thinkers like Archimedes, Hipparchus, or Posidonius must have been involved in the construction of the dazzlingly advanced mechanism, but they say the new date makes an Archimedes connection unlikely. The new research also offers some clues to the place where it may have been made: An inscription on part of the device used to date the Olympic Games refers to a competition held on the island of Rhodes. (A new excavation that finished last month found that the wreck the mechanism came from was much bigger than thought, leading researchers to call it the “Titanic of the ancient world.”)

Of course this does not take in account the “Ancient Alien Theory”……that is a whole other post after I have been heavily medicated…….

If you have a thought please share!