Joe was goodly enough to pass along this comment to me, posted with his permission:
First thing one has to see is who is promoting it. Englishman who broke the story called me a few yrs back wanting to meet with me here in Jerusalem, over a book he was writing on Qumran.
We met and he asked me about a skeleton from tomb 18 at Qumran as he was told, so he says, by the French priest who excavated the tomb that it may be John the Baptist. As I know the material quite well I told him that the skeleton there has a head and I would provide the photo of the grave the following morning which I did. A short time later the book The Secret Initiation of Jesus at Qumran appeared and lo and behold, the story of the headless skeleton appeared.
I might add that he also helped authenticate on the basis of the patina that the lead coffin, originally discovered by BAR in Qumran was ancient. A short time later it was determined that it was zinc not lead and then after it was published at least three times, that it was coated with Barium-Titanium paint, patented in the 1920′s to prevent oxidization on zinc. That unique, one of a kind, first, was, as I told them probably a Bedouin water trough which morphed into a ‘ancient’ coffin lid. Shanks brought this to public attention in BAR with the headline ‘Jews, Save the Bones of your Ancestors’ and the money flowed in. As for the ‘bones of the ancestors’ c-14 dates from AZ, showed that two of the three, were from the late Pre-historic period, pushing , literacy, the DSS and Abraham and the clan back thousands of yrs.
Soon you will see something similiar this time it’s the $ign of Jonah, the Profit. National Geog. same cast of characters as Talpiot tomb of Jesus (2007) with a little help from folks at UNC-Charlotte.
Science and Antiquity Group – Jerusalem
Filed under: Archaeology, Belief, Scholarship Tagged: | James Tabor, Jesus tablets, Joe Zias, Jonah Ossuary, lead tablets, minimalism, pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-christianity, pseudo-scholarship, Resurrection Tomb Mystery, Simcha Jacobovici, Talpiot, Talpiyot, The Jesus Discovery