A stone box that may be the oldest evidence of the life of Jesus has been declared a fake by archaeologists. The ossuary is the kind that was used by Jewish families to bury the bones of relatives in the first century AD. An inscription on the side of the box, written in Aramaic, reads: “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”

According to archaeologists at Israel’s Antiquities Authority, “The inscription appears new, written in modernity by someone attempting to reproduce ancient written characters. The inscriptions, possibly inscribed in two separate stages, are not authentic.”

Gideon Avri, chairman of the investigating committee, says they studied the thin layers of limestone that had built up on the surface of the ossuary since it was created. “The incisions showed modern elements, indicating it was done by a skilful artist in recent years,” he says. The box itself does date from the first century AD. The Israel Antiquities Authority has many similar boxes in its vaults.

There are many well kept historical secrets that affect our lives today.

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