I have been corresponding with Philip about his recent interview with the Sheffield Telegraph. Since a lot of the conversation has been happening behind the scenes, I asked Philip for a comment to clarify his points, away from media bias, which I could post publicly. Below are his remarks:
‘Authentic’ means they are what they pretend to be. In the context of
a hypothesis tat they are ‘early Christian’ that would mean form the
1st or 2nd century CE. This I doubt, though if the scientific tests
continue to point to this timeframe, at least the metal is that old.
Which does not date the images, some of which are undoubtedly much
What is most curious to me is the trouble taken to bind hundred of
sheets into book forms and stack them in a cave (if this story is
true, of course – the place need proper investigating). What has
really been going on?
Since the sheets apparently tell us virtually nothing of value (even
if they are very old), I am really more interested in finding out
just what they are.
As I have said ‘forgery’ is not quite the right term for objects that
are not making any claims to be anything. Maybe they are just trying
to look old. But I can’t see that they are more valuable in book form
than as single sheets. And why have they been hawked around museums
and not gullible tourists or collectors?
The answer may be banal, in the end. But more interesting that the so
called ‘nails’ which is just plain stupid.