(ANCIENT ORIGINS) Archaeologists stand on trial, accused of faking a collection of holy artifacts including the earliest depiction of the crucifixion of Christ.
Archaeologist Eliseo Gil, geologist Óscar Escribano, and materials analyst Rubén Cerdán appeared, this week, in a criminal court in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of Spain's Basque Country. They are accused of having forged ancient graffiti on the faces of hundreds of ancient artifacts.
The Telegraph reported that the three men are charged with having scratched religious images onto pottery, glass, and brick that were subsequently found in the Roman ruins at Iruña-Veleia, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) west of Vitoria-Gasteiz. Gil had boldly claimed the graffiti found on the artifacts demonstrated early links between the Roman settlement in Spain and the Basque language and he claimed three “crosses” found scratched on a fragment of ancient pottery were the earliest known depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ .
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