I immediately replied to her, with a copy to all concerned parties:

“Dear Ada:

Yes, I am disappointed, but the truth is more important than anything. I am immediately sharing your judgment with all interested parties. I would welcome any comments.

You did not mention the heh that goes into the old break. Any comment on this?

All best,

She replied:

“Dear Hershel,

The heh was not clear enough to me when I looked at it through the microscope.


Has the inscribed ivory pomegranate been unmasked as a forgery? Not quite. In Yardeni’s judgment “it seems possible” that it is a forgery.

However, André Lemaire continues to defend the authenticity of the inscription. His email response:

Thanks, Hershel. It is good to know the appreciation of Ada, but apparently she did [not] look at the pomegranate from the right angle to see the incision [of the taw] that actually is not hindered by the bulge (as could be thought because of the optical illusion).

“Above all, [she] did not check the strokes of the heh where things are clearer …


As of this writing, that is where things stand. But I can no longer argue that the inscription on this important relic is unquestionably authentic: Ada Yardeni has her doubts. And that is powerful authority.

But André Lemaire is also a powerful authority.

Both are great scholars and wonderful human beings. This is only the beginning of a fascinating discussion. Stay tuned.



See “Fudging with Forgeries,BAR 37:06; Strata, “Accused BAR Editor Replies,BAR 37:06; “How an Israeli Forgery Committee Operates,BAR 35:02; “Is This Inscription Fake? You Decide,BAR 33:05.



Shmuel Ahituv, Aaron Demsky, Yuval Goren and André Lemaire, “The Inscribed Ivory Pomegranate from the Israel Museum Examined Again,” Israel Exploration Journal 57 (2007), pp. 87–95.