The forger’s technique is illustrated here in detail for those who want to understand exactly how he used the Siloam Inscription as his model. The Siloam Inscription (below) was written from right to left. The arrows above the first lines of the forgery and the Siloam Inscription show the direction in which the forger copied. Letters in the white areas appear in both the Siloam Inscription and the forgery. Letters tinted gray in the manuscript were added by the forger; letters tinted gray in the Siloam Inscription were omitted.
After writing ten lines, the forger came to the end of the Siloam Inscription. So he started over. The last three lines of the forgery contain letters from the first three lines of the Siloam Inscription. Again, the forger added some letters, deleted others, and changed the forms of others.
Professor Cross recently examined the parchment photographs and recognized that the forger had access to modern script charts showing other types of ancient letter forms. In the manuscript illustrated here the forger also copied one letter (tinted green)—tet—from the script of the Mesha Stele, an almost four-foot-high black basalt stone inscribed in the ninth century B.C. by Mesha, king of Moab, to celebrate his successful rebellion against Israel. Professor Cross observed that the forger “tends to begin with Siloam and breaks free into meaningless (and at times impossible) sequences as he goes … All the leather pieces show the same forger at work, the same ‘hand’ confusing stances, ignoring lacunae in the Siloam Inscription, inserting Mesha-type letters with his bizarre imitations of Siloam [script].”