Under the motto scientia vincere tenebras (defeating darkness through science), and promoted by a rather large group of scientists, Veleia-Online has arrived to the Internet. In their own words:
SOS-Veleia has been created to serve as an online resource tool for those interested in exploring questions related to the discovery of the so-called ‘exceptional inscriptions’ of Iruña-Veleia (Northern Spain), excavated in 2005 and 2006 by the Lurmen group. Our inquiry is grounded on the premise that the falsity of the artefacts has not been sufficiently demonstrated and that there are reasons to believe that they are authentic. Our goal is to foster honest and transparent reflection concerning the authenticity of the artefacts discovered to date by applying sound scientific methods to their study. With this objective in mind SOS-Veleia seeks to:
- Make available the reports that have been prepared to date by all parties involved.
- Display all photographs currently available of the pieces.
- Situate the pieces along with their respective transcriptions and interpretations within the archaeological context in which they were found.
- Encourage debate so that experts as well as other concerned individuals can express their opinions and provide input.
- Compile and make available reports and other information that this subject has elicited in the past and continues to produce.
- Demonstrate why it is important that new physical tests be carried out on the artefacts.
- Establish why it is essential that the contrastive controlled excavations recommended by Professor Perring be conducted. Dr. Perring is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Roman archaeology and a member of the Scientific Advisory Commission and therefore , hence an expert appointed by the Deputy Lorena López de la Calle. In his report to the Scientific Advisory Commission, dated 21 september 2007, Dr. Perring made this recommendation: that well recognized archaeologists, not connected to any of the parties involved, carry out new excavations at the site. Specifically, Perring stated the following in section 3.7.2. of his report (2008, link to full text of Perring’s report: Anexo IV): “An additional test, and perhaps the most important, is to see if the results obtained can be duplicated by an independent team of researchers. Much as is the case with any scientific experiment, the replication of the experiment provides the ultimate proof. A new archaeological team, involving none of the archaeologists or institutions involved in the recent work, should be invited to see if their excavations at Veleia will also produce ‘exceptional graffiti’.”
- Estitxu Breñas Glz de Zarate; B.A. in Geography and History. Editor. (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
- Pello Eizagirre; Specialist in Palaeo-Christianity (Zarautz, Gipuzkoa)
- Juan Martin Elexpuru; Ph.D. in Basque Philology. (Bergara, Gipuzkoa)
- Enrique Fernandez de Pinedo; B.A. in Basque Philology. (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
- Idoia Filloy Nieva, Master in Archaeological Patrimony. B.A. in History (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
- Roslyn M. Frank; Ph.D. Linguist and Bascologist, Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa (US)
- Eliseo Gil Zubillaga, Master in Archaeological Patrimony, B.A. in History (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
- Xabi Otsoa de Alda; B.A. in Geography and History. (Vitoria-Gasteiz)
- Koenraad Van den Driessche; Ph.D. in Geochemistry (Beasain, Gipuzkoa)
I have already discussed to some extent the Veleia affair in this blog.