As outlined in my books The Christ Conspiracy and Suns of God, the creation of holy relics to bolster a flagging faith constitutes ancient priestcraft of the first order. No self-respecting priesthood could be without such fabrication, and this latest bit of legerdemain is hardly anything outstanding within this long line of chicanery and treachery.
Let us look more closely at the sleight-of-hand being foisted upon us in this newest attempt at anchoring the mythical into history. First, some years ago when another such piece of priestcraft, the so-called James ossuary, was being touted as the missing "proof" for the existence of Jesus Christ, I wrote a long rebuttal called "Bone Box No Proof of Jesus," which was published in a three-part series in Secular Nation at the suggestion of Dr. Robert Price. In this article - written in 2002 - I discuss the fact that ossuaries of this type were not uncommon and that inscriptions with the names of "Jesus" and "Mary" were likewise to be found abundantly. I even addressed this latest purported "tomb of Jesus":
... as [archaeologist] Avi-Yonah states regarding the numerous bone-boxes found in the Tombs at Dominus Flevit, which contained "122 ossuaries of the usual type [square]," common names included Jeshua or Yeshua (Jesus) and Maria (Mary). (EAEHL, II, 636.) In one of the surviving family tombs in Jerusalem are 18 ossuaries with Greek inscriptions, one of which contains the names "Joseph" (twice) and "Maria." (EAEHL, II, 635.) By the typical media and religious standards this tomb should have been exalted as that of Jesus's family.In another example, in the "Tomb Cave in the Talpiot Quarter, discovered in 1945," are found large charcoal crosses on one of the ossuaries, while "two other ossuaries had Greek inscriptions reading IhsouV iou. IhsouV alwq," a phrase that contains the name Jesus twice. "The excavator interpreted the crosses and the inscriptions as expressions of sorrow at the crucifixion of Jesus, an interpretation not accepted by other scholars." The tomb itself dates to the beginning of the first century and demonstrates the commonality of the name Jesus before the purported time of the Christian messiah. (EAEHL, II, 635.) If this Jesus tomb had dated to a few decades later, no doubt the media and faithful would have had a field day in presenting it as the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth, thus "proving" the biblical fable, although these two tombs mentioned herein would certainly infuriate the keepers and believers in the "Holy Sepulchre," yet another profitable tourist attraction. It would be surprising that no such incautious and mirthful rush to judgment has occurred concerning this particular Jesus tomb. In reality, at least one sloppy sensationalist author has claimed this tomb to be that of "Jesus of Nazareth," asserting that the tomb also contained the ossuaries of not only a Jesus, but also a Joseph, two Marys and a Jude. The excavation report, however, does not mention these other burials, leaving the question as to whether or not this particular author is prone to fiction, as is suggested by his other writings as well. As is evident, looks can be deceiving, such that caution should be utilized in regard to artifacts.
In Jerusalem there is even a "Tomb of Jason," complete with an ossuary and a scratched image of a warship, which could lead to the conclusion that this is the tomb of the Jason of Greek mythology. "On the walls of the porch are charcoal drawings of ships, a Greek inscription, and several Aramaic inscriptions, the longest of which consists of three lines lamenting Jason, the deceased." (EAEHL, II, 630) Using coins and pottery, the tomb is dated to having been used between the Hasmonean (2nd-1st cent. BCE) and the Herodian eras (37 BCE-70 CE). Although it is evidently the tomb of a real person of that era, true believers in the demigod Jason of Argonaut fame could attempt in the same manner as Christians to "prove" the existence of Jason and his Argonauts, such as Hercules, as "real people."
Indeed, the creation and/or discovery of the tombs of various gods has been a mainstay throughout the world for millennia and centuries, with the Egyptian god Osiris, for example, purportedly buried in dozens of places. The same has occurred with Jesus, as his remains are alleged to be found in Kashmir and Japan, to name a couple of tourist traps. I further explore this issue in my article "Jesus in India?"
Moreover, one of the individuals in this newest scandal happens to have been involved in the James ossuary hoax. Hence, we could hardly consider this find to be any more credible than that one. We also must make note of the fact that the senior archaeologist on the pertinent excavation, Professor Amos Kloner, says of this fictionalized tale - the new "documentary" of which astoundingly includes famed director James Cameron - "It's a beautiful story but without any proof whatsoever."
As an aside and postscript, if Ray Santilli can be busted for the "Alien Autopsy" hoax, then James Cameron should likewise be found culpable for foisting this fraud upon an unsuspecting public. It rankles me to no end that, when it comes to religious tomfoolery, no one is held accountable for their fraudulent behavior.