Tue. Mar 31st, 2020

Iruña-Veleia: Trial against archaeologists who falsified the origins of Christianity and Basque | Culture

The archaeological soap opera of Iruña Veleia, in Álava, already has a trial date. Next February 3 will be judged in Vitoria to the three members of a team of archaeologists who elevated the discoveries they had made at a site ten kilometers from Vitoria to "extraordinary and of global significance", to then sink into the hell of one of the alleged greatest fakes in history .

The excavation director, Eliseo Gil He showed in 2006 pieces of clay with the inscription of a third-century Calvary that became the representation of the oldest crucifixion in history, and others with Egyptian and Basque references that advanced 600 years to the first written words known of this last language. Everything was going well. His company Lurmen obtained a sponsorship of 3.7 million euros from a Basque public company, Euskotren, in addition to those granted by the Alava Provincial Council, the owner of the site, and the international relief of the team led by Gil, which grew exponentially .

But something didn't add up. Shortly after a commission formed by 26 experts began to work on its authentication and in 2008 they concluded that the most controversial pieces, the most spectacular and striking, had been manipulated over others, true but vulgar. They were fake. The Public Ministry understands that they manipulated up to 476 archeological fragments without much value that they found in the site located next to the Alava town of Nanclares de la Oca, Álava.

Allegedly manipulated crucifixion dated long before the first known.

Allegedly manipulated crucifixion dated long before the first known.

The findings were not only questioned by theologians and archaeologists, but by experts in Philology and Ancient History, who did not add the appearance of Latin words with romance language features such as "Cuore"(heart), the" J "in" Jupiter ", instead of" Iupiter ", or the contiguous presence of" Octavio "and" Augusto ", not forgetting punctuation marks, such as comma, which in fact do not appear until the Middle Ages

According to these reports, not even the chronological extension of the findings from the third century to the sixth century, which Gil deepened in his later explanations would allow to admit "Nefertiti", whose existence was discovered in the early twentieth century, or the maximum "Yes vis pacem, for iustitiam ", created as the motto of the Hague Court, from" Si vis pacem, for bellum ", medieval recreation of another Latin expression of the fifth century, among many other contradictions.

Image of the Iruña Veleia site.

Image of the Iruña Veleia site.

The Diputación de Álava, presented on May 4, 2009 in the Court of Instruction 1, two complaints against Eliseo Gil, one for fraud and another for damage to artistic heritage, as the main defendant. The Prosecutor's Office of Alava requests five and a half years in prison. The Alava Provincial Council, as a private indictment, raises the petition to seven and a half years for a continuing crime against the historical and other fraud. The summary has about 16,000 folios.

Gil, who presented almost 500 inscriptions on pieces from the 3rd to 6th centuriesHe was not alone in the excavations and will not be alone on the bench either. Two of his closest collaborators, Óscar Escribano, for whom they also ask for five and a half years, and Rubén Cerdán, two and a half years, will accompany him. The Diputación reduces its request to three years and nine months for both. But he asks for an economic compensation of 600 euros for each piece allegedly handled, which raises the economic demand for that concept to 285,600 euros.

The Court of Instruction 1 He has overcome all kinds of obstacles, from the difficult location of Cerdán who presented himself as a nuclear physicist although he never tested his degree and was missing for several months, until the formation of a team to revise the pieces. In the end, a group of experts from the Superior School of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain, after two years, confirmed the lack of authenticity of the inscriptions. Gil's defense claimed in May 2016 the case file. The court has designed nine trial sessions through which dozens of witnesses will pass.

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