Edward M. Cook, blogging at Ralph the Sacred River, http://ralphriver.blogspot.com/ has published an article at SBL Forum: The Forgery Indictments and BAR: Learning From Hindsight, http://www.sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleId=371.
Cook would like to think that the James ossuary scandal is somehow the fault of the magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) and its editor, Hershel Shanks. Ed Cook is not alone in his criticism. Under the view of these critics, responsible journalists would engage in a kind of self-imposed censorship. This to me is unrealistic. Furthermore it does not address the real problem.
Let's see: I am supposed to have written that the James ossuary scandal is "somehow the fault" of BAR. I have certainly criticized BAR in the past for contributing to the problem of the spread of unprovenanced artifacts, but I have never tried to say that the scandal is "somehow the fault" of BAR. The words I used, taken directly from the article, are these:
contributed to the problem
part of the responsibility
might have contributed to
a kind of "accessory"
Anderson thinks the "real problem" lies elsewhere. It certainly is a complicated issue, with many variables. I was only writing about one of them. And I deplore seeing my views set up as a kind of straw man or foil, when a nuanced engagement with them would have been both possible and preferable.
Anderson says, "It is interesting to me that there is no urgent call for the IAA to examine all of the artifacts it has purchased over the last thirty years to determine which ones are fakes and of course, publish the results of their findings." Huh? On the contrary, there have been repeated calls both within and without the IAA to retest the whole range of unprovenanced items in museums both in Israel and in other countries.
Does IAA need to clean its own house? Maybe. There's a lot of cleaning up to do in the world of biblical archaeology. It's a big mess, with many causes. But to oversimplify matters as Anderson does is to darken counsel.