In late November 2012, I was invited to the
Basque Country to speak at a conference on archaeological works at the
Roman town of Iruña-Veleia, a short distance from the city of
Vitoria-Gasteiz, being one of the leading experts in matters of
stratigraphy in archaeology, the science that controls the excavation
and recording of archaeological sites, and the subsequent analyses of
portable heritage from such places. While it would have been easy to
bask in the honour in which the “Harris Matrix” is held in such matters,
at least with the Basques, the purpose of the conference was to review
some of the subjects that have made Iruña-Veleia one of the most
controversial sites in the world.The issue
revolves around classes of artifacts found at the site by an
archaeological team led by Idoia Filloy and Eliseo Gill, objects of
pottery, brick and bone that were reused as writing tablets and
inscribed with words and pictures in later Roman times. The information
contained on the artifacts appears to have conflicted with presently
held views of the origins of the Basque language and other subjects, so
much so that some experts declared them to be fakes, forged perhaps by
the archaeologists who found them. Apparently without proof, academic or
otherwise, the archaeologists have been hung out to dry in the media,
which unfortunately is often the fate of the falsely accused, as one
Lord McAlpine found recently when he was defamed by the BBC, no less,
and ‘twittered’, almost to death.As to
motivation, one cannot ‘follow the money’, as there is, and will likely
always be, a dearth of it in archaeology. A preliminary audit would
suggest that the archaeologists conducted the excavations to modern
standards, particularly in recording, but as artifacts can be moved
without losing their integrity, it is difficult to comment on the
placement of objects after a “dig” has finished.Given
the complexity of the supposedly forged graffitti, all that one can say
at this stage is that if the artifacts are forgeries, that the
perpetrators of such a hoax are geniuses of the first order, but who, as
archaeologists, would want to claim fame on the basis of such
forgeries, when the real thing is usually of a far more abiding
Category Archives: Ancient Mediterranean
|Figure 3. Carbon and nitrogen isotope composition of bone collagen from Mesolithic humans and fauna of Grotta d’Oriente.|
See also: Magdalenians did eat sea mammals (at my old discontinued blog Leherensuge).
|The revolutionary ivory hoard|
- Category Iruña-Veleia in this blog.
- Category Iruña-Veleia in my older blog Leherensuge (until Oct 2010).
The naveta (Binibèquer, Sant Lluís) is one of a few in all the island, belonging to the Bronze Age (Naviform I period: c. 1750-1000 BCE). This kind of tombs are exclusive of Minorca.
|The new discovery is yet to be researched or even cleared|
|The famous and well preserved Naveta des Tudons (for comparison)
CC BY-ND 2.0
|Archaeologists at work (Berria)|
|Inscribed stones from Iturissa (Berria)|
Related document (update):
Video (mini-documentary, 5 mins, mostly in Spanish, some Basque) of the finding and excavation of some Roman propagandistic milestones (millarii), which are the same stones shown above.
These were found at an almost forgotten path of Auritzberri known as bidezarra (the old path or road), which the people suspected to be an ancient Roman road but was just a popular belief… until now.
The discussed milestone reads: NOBILISSIMO CAES FLAVIO VAL CONSTANTIO P F AUG, i.e. to the holy (P[ius]) and happy (F[elix]) Emperor (Caesar) named Flavius Valerius Constatius Augustus, which should be Constantius Chloros.