November 17, 2010

Iruña-Veleia hearing at the Western Basque Parliament

Finally the greatest archaeological scandal of our time, at least in the Basque Country, the Iruña-Veleia graffiti controversy, has reached the Basque Parliament.

I have explained this matter earlier in great detail at For what they were... and also in several posts at my old blog Leherensuge, so I will not extend for long here. 

Just to remind here that the "expert Commission" which suddenly decided in 2008 that the graffiti were falsifications did so based only on intellectual opinions, almost all of linguistic nature, and not on any physical evidence. 

As geologist Koenraad van Driesche and philologist Juan Martin Elexpuru explained to members of Parliament yesterday, the Commission and the Provincial Government of Araba have all the time avoided dealing with the physical evidence, which quite clearly, even from mere photographs, demonstrates that the graffiti are genuine. However the physical analyses have not been performed yet because the Provincial Government is blatantly ignoring the repeated demands by Court number 1 of Vitoria-Gasteiz to turn over the archaeological materials so scientific police can perform the appropriate tests, on them, which should settle the matter. 

The Commission, made up mostly by linguists, also decided not to perform any scientific physical tests, without doubt because these would have debunked their working hypothesis, their preconception, that the graffiti are falsifications, hypothesis based only on very questionable linguistic speculations. 

All the documents explaining why civic association SOS Iruña-Veleia thinks that the graffiti are most probably genuine are available at this association's website: van Driesche's link and Elexpuru's link (both in Spanish, though Elexpuru's exposition is also available in Basque). They contain many photos of the graffiti and experimental comparisons with modern day graffiti as well,  all of which clearly shows why these most valuable evidence of ancient Basque and Vulgar Latin, as well as (often Christian) iconography, are not likely to be  falsifications but rather genuine ancient material. 

Elexpuru's exposition also includes links to all reports available on this matter, both against and in favor of the shards' authenticity (all them in Spanish language, except one which is in French).

The current situation, in which a Machiavellian academic-political camarilla has attained control of the rich archaeological site in order to destroy all evidence is simply unacceptable. There should be heads rolling all around, first of all that of Lorena López de Lacalle, provincial Deputy of Culture and main political actress in this matter. But the complex political situation and the massive propaganda campaign promoted by the institutions have made this natural evolution of things quite difficult to achieve. 

Still I do believe that eventually truth shall prevail. As the motto adopted by SOS Iruña-Veleia reads: Scientia vincere tenebras (science defeats darkness) but  for now the battle between the two forces is still ongoing.

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