"Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
StephenGoranson
Posts: 1172
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

"Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by StephenGoranson »

forwarded:


Public Statement



We, the undersigned, archaeologists and historians from research institutions throughout Israel, of various backgrounds and worldviews, wish to make a public statement.

Occasionally, and up until recent days, archaeological finds and discoveries (that are at times presented as revolutionary and game changers in the history of the Land of Israel) have been published in the popular press and on social media, prior to peer review, and to the full presentation, with high quality illustrations, of these finds in scientific publications, even long after the initial public notification.

As is clear to anyone dealing with science and research, one of the foundations of all research and discovery is that results must go through a process of peer review prior to publication, to check for quality, suggest improvements and comments, and in some cases, reject a suggestion. Without this process, research is conducted without proper checks and balances. In addition, research colleagues (in this case archaeologists and historians) cannot properly ascertain, and if need be disagree, with these claims.

We cannot but stress that until the publication of finds or research results in a scientific and peer-reviewed publication, any claim made should be related to as unfounded, and is also unworthy of publication in the popular press.



Signers of the Petition (alphabetically)

Prof. Oren Ackerman, Ariel Univ.

Prof. Yonatan Adler, Ariel Univ.

Dr. Shira Albaz, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Dr. Ella Assaf Shpayer, Tel Aviv Univ.

Prof. Yoram Cohen, Tel Aviv Univ.

Dr. Amit Dagan, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Dr. Uri Davidovich, Hebrew Univ.

Dr. Adi Eliyahu, Ariel Univ.

Dr. Avner Ecker, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Mr. Daniel Ein Mor, Israel Antiquities Authority

Prof. Esther Eshel, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Prof. Yuval Gadot, Tel Aviv Univ.

Dr. Asaf Gayer, Ariel Univ.

Prof. Isaac Gilead, Ben-Gurion Univ.

Dr. Shai Gordin, Ariel Univ.

Prof. Yuval Goren, Ben-Gurion Univ.

Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar, Hebrew Univ. and Israel Academy of Sciences

Prof. Dan’el Kahn, Univ. of Haifa

Dr. Ido Koch, Tel Aviv Univ.

Dr. Assaf Kleiman, Ben-Gurion Univ.

Prof. Gunnar Lehmann, Ben-Gurion Univ.

Prof. Yigal Levin, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Prof. Oded Lipschits, Tel Aviv Univ.

Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Prof. Ofer Marder, Ben-Gurion Univ.

Dr. Haggai Misgav, Hebrew Univ.

Prof. Nadav Na’aman, Tel Aviv Univ. and Israel Academy of Sciences

Prof. Steve Rosen, Ben-Gurion Univ.

Prof. Joel Roskin, Bar-Ilan Univ.

Dr. Omer Sergi, Tel Aviv Univ.

Prof. Itzik Shai, Ariel Univ.

Dr. Deborah Sweeney, Tel Aviv Univ.

Prof. Zeev Weiss, Hebrew Univ.

Prof. Boaz Zissu, Bar-Ilan Univ.
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 5624
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by neilgodfrey »

Occasionally, and up until recent days, archaeological finds and discoveries (that are at times presented as revolutionary and game changers in the history of the Land of Israel) have been published in the popular press and on social media,
I feel out of touch. I would be interested in some instances of such finds in the popular press and social media.... What have I been missing?
User avatar
billd89
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Location: New England, USA

Re: "Disrupters"

Post by billd89 »

neilgodfrey wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2022 3:13 pm
Occasionally, and up until recent days, archaeological finds and discoveries (that are at times presented as revolutionary and game changers in the history of the Land of Israel) have been published in the popular press and on social media
I feel out of touch. I would be interested in some instances of such finds in the popular press and social media.... What have I been missing?
I feel certain that I've posted links to a few of those. And grandpa has occasionally gotten snarky on such threads; this fracas rings faintly of a 20th C academic hollering "Get off my lawn!" at the internet people. Publish or perish, they said, but on whose platform now? And just how 'democratic' is a Brill book costing USD500 anyway? Information wants to be free, someone else said: all that teevee money chasing Indiana Jones stories will go somewhere inevitably.

Methinks the lady in the ivory tower protesteth too much ...

otoh, Science Disrupters might be doing real damage elsewhere; sooner of later smthg will go 'Twelve Monkeys' on us all, but I suspect it will be Evil Code.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/1 ... e-climate/



It starts off okay, right?
User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 15597
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by Secret Alias »

The problem pervades our entire society. It's no longer "sports" - no longer just a bunch of guys kicking around a ball. It's all part of some bigger marketing, promotional, social media enterprise. Even the sciences.
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 5624
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by neilgodfrey »

Ah, thank you! Now that makes sense of the original OP. I thought it odd that such a complaint as copied and pasted in the OP would be made in such generalized terms that gave the average reader no idea what publications in particular prompted its complaint. I did an online search for archaeological finds in mainstream media and only found obvious ideological driven posts (only those predisposed to believing whatever they read confirming their beliefs would take them seriously) and other more responsible publications that were clear in their reporting about what was confirmed and what was speculative.

And the target of the complaint posted in the OP was a certain scholar whose finds in The Times of Israel actually made it clear from the very beginning that the results were not peer-reviewed and were of a preliminary nature. Now that sounds very kosher to me. So why the fuss?

It has to do with more than peer-review, surely. I suspect that many of the names who signed that public declaration are themselves well aware of the problems associated with peer-review. I would point to https://experimentalhistory.substack.com/p/the-rise-and-fall-of-peer-review for a useful read for anyone who is not in tune with those problems. The problem in biblical studies is more acute -- how did Sheffield Publishers ever let peer-reviewers allow Maurice Casey to speak of the virgin Mary "being preggers"!!!!! with Jesus??! How did the publishers of Bart Ehrman's book on memory and the historical Jesus allow the peer-review process to let pass a work that demonstrated not the first slightest hint of any knowledge of "memory theory" that was behind the studies of Bart's "peers" and to which Bart was obviously attempting (in embarrassing ignorance) to respond? Peer-review is a tool that is brought out in professional discussions when certain academics want to club their professional rivals over the head.

Point: Publicly funded knowledge -- that is, the findings of persons who are employed by publicly funded institutions -- OUGHT to be made freely publicly available. That should surely be an obvious point of principle. But we find tax-payer funded institutions watching their salaried staff sell their research to publishers who demand exorbitant payments for anyone in the public to read them! That's immoral.

What publicly funded researchers produce should be made available to the public -- along with the usual professional caveats explaining what is still speculative and not yet peer-reviewed, etc. And that process was followed by The Times of Israel's publications of Gershon Galil's findings.

On a side note here... re SG's making this "public statement of archaeological finds" a matter of discussion.......

Who was it who initiated or contributed to another recent forum discussion about the NON-peer-reviewed and NON-tested C-14 date of a certain Qumran script along with bold speculation that such an upcoming test COULD prove that it was older than the Hellenistic era!! ?? Obviously the hopes were that the there was a CHANCE that FUTURE tests COULD invalidate Gmirkin's hypothesis. No peer-review or waiting the outcome of results held many commentators back then!

But let's come back to Galil's finding:

If anyone believes that the "silver amulets" of another discussion somehow prove that the Bible was written in the Persian era, they will enthusiastically jump on the bandwagon of Galil that the "curse tablets" are "proof" that the Bible was written by scribes watching Hezekiah do his stuff. (I'm being slightly sarcastic, but you get my drift.)

All Galil's finds demonstrate is that there is some cultural substance (a curse formula and the worship of YHWH) that we find in the Hebrew Bible went back to the times of Hezekiah. Of course, I would expect the SG's and others who freak out at any suggestion that parts of the Bible were not written by the time of King Josiah to gratuitously forget that "minimalists" and related schools of thought have long (literally 3 decades now, at least) acknowledged that the later authors did use archives from certain kings in the pre-Bαbylonian captivity era.

(One other point of Galil's conclusions I find myself disputing -- he speaks of the "entry of Israelites" into the land. I would have expected him to catch up with the research that indicates the Israelites (and Judeans) were indigenous and not some subsequent nomadic wanderers from the desert somehow displacing the Canaanites. I thought that was old hat fundamentalist nonsense. Do serious scholars still adhere to that notion?)
StephenGoranson
Posts: 1172
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by StephenGoranson »

I posted the "Public Statement" of 34 Israeli historians and archaeologists--one of whom I dug with at Sepphoris, Galilee--because I thought it might be of interest here.

Leave it to neilgodfrey to read into that posting bad intentions. And, somehow, proleptically, again, to defend the asserted scenario of Gmirkin.

Of course peer review sometimes fails.
Of course the statement's suggestion will not block opinions here.
But, maybe, some newspaper reporters will think twice about, for instance, signing non-disclosure agreements preventing them from contacting independent scholars before publication to check on a claimed discovery.
ABuddhist
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:36 am

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by ABuddhist »

neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Dec 28, 2022 3:13 am The problem in biblical studies is more acute -- how did Sheffield Publishers ever let peer-reviewers allow Maurice Casey to speak of the virgin Mary "being preggers"!!!!! with Jesus??! How did the publishers of Bart Ehrman's book on memory and the historical Jesus allow the peer-review process to let pass a work that demonstrated not the first slightest hint of any knowledge of "memory theory" that was behind the studies of Bart's "peers" and to which Bart was obviously attempting (in embarrassing ignorance) to respond? Peer-review is a tool that is brought out in professional discussions when certain academics want to club their professional rivals over the head.
Conversely, the fact that Dr. Carrier's book "Did Jesus Exist?" passed peer review is ignored or belittled by almost all of his critics.
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 5624
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by neilgodfrey »

StephenGoranson wrote: Wed Dec 28, 2022 4:54 am Leave it to neilgodfrey to read into that posting bad intentions. And, somehow, proleptically, again, to defend the asserted scenario of Gmirkin.
You, SG, were the one who posted the link to the story of Galil being the target of the statement. Did you read that article or just the headline? I merely responded to that article's claims. Leave it to SG to twist my words, ignore their context, and impute "bad intentions". Again, I am left wondering if SG actually read more than the headline of the article he posted -- as is so often evident in so many of his postings.
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 5624
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: "Public statement on Publication of Archaeological Finds"

Post by neilgodfrey »

ABuddhist wrote: Wed Dec 28, 2022 5:36 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Dec 28, 2022 3:13 am The problem in biblical studies is more acute -- how did Sheffield Publishers ever let peer-reviewers allow Maurice Casey to speak of the virgin Mary "being preggers"!!!!! with Jesus??! How did the publishers of Bart Ehrman's book on memory and the historical Jesus allow the peer-review process to let pass a work that demonstrated not the first slightest hint of any knowledge of "memory theory" that was behind the studies of Bart's "peers" and to which Bart was obviously attempting (in embarrassing ignorance) to respond? Peer-review is a tool that is brought out in professional discussions when certain academics want to club their professional rivals over the head.
Conversely, the fact that Dr. Carrier's book "Did Jesus Exist?" passed peer review is ignored or belittled by almost all of his critics.
Exactly. Ditto for his PhD qualification in a relevant field. "He's not a scholar" is a very convenient dodge to make when critics want to justify avoiding engagement with actual arguments and evidence set out towards conclusions they do not like. Ridiculing his declaration that he has a qualification is the converse to ridiculing another author (recall Doherty, for one) for not have a qualification.
Post Reply