Egilearen sarrerak

• Saturday, August 07th, 2021

Programa – Egitaraua

Viernes – Divendres – Ostirala – 27

12:30-12:45 Presentación – Presentació – Aurkezpena

12:45-14:00 Jesus Gonzalez Artabe: Prehistoria de las lenguas ibéricas

14:00-16:00 Comida – Menjar – Bazkaria

16:00-17:15 Iosu Urrexola. El euskera: la herramienta que nos permite llegar a los comienzos del ser humano. Cuando las cosas estaban sin nombrar

17:15-17:30 Descanso – Descans – Atsedena

17:30-18:45 Jon Goitia Blanco: Relato de insignificancias, “Euskaltzaindia” prisionera de los de la UPV/EHU

18:45-20:00 Antoni Jaquemot Ballarín: Escrito ibérico sobre una jarra encontrada en la Joncosa de  Jorba (Barcelona)

Sábado – Dissabte – Larunbata – 28

09:00-10:00 Antonio Arnaiz Villena: Video: El circulo canario-sahariano de cultura prehistórica

10:00-11:15 Josu Naberan Naberan: El ibérico a la luz del euskera

11:15-11:45 Descanso – Descans – Atsedena

11:45-13:00 Inizituak: Lectura de una pesa de telar de Azaila (Teruel)

13:00-14:15 Jabi Goitia Blanco: La persistencia de algunos morfemas en los nombres de lugar

14:15-16:15 Comida – Menjar – Bazkaria

16:15-17:00 Luis Silgo Gauche: La inscripción ibérica Llíria LXXV

17:00-20:00 Visita

Domingo – Diumenge – Igandea – 29

09:15-10:30 Marianne van der Sluys Tiserant: Indoeuropeos celtíberos e íberos

10:30-11:45 Patxi Alaña Arrinda: Presentación del paleodiccionario: íbero, euskera, etrusco, guantxe

11:45-12:15 Descanso – Descans – Atsedena

12:15-14:00 Asamblea General de la Asociación de Lengua y Cultura Ibérica

14:00 Clausura – Amaiera

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• Thursday, July 08th, 2021

Iberian inscriptions in Sahara Desert rocks (Ti-m Missaou, Ahaggar Mts. area, Algeria): first evidence of incise Iberian rock scripts in continental North Africa

Antonio Arnaiz-Villena*, Valentín Ruiz-del-Valle, Adrián López-Nares, Fabio Suárez-Trujillo

In the present paper, we show Iberian or Iberian-Guanche scripts found in the Middle of Sahara Desert, Ti-m Missaou (Tim Missao, Tim Missaw), 270 km South- West of Tamanrasset on Ahaggar or Hoggar Mountains (Mts.) area (Algeria). More Iberian scripts may be earthed beneath Sahara Desert sands or have been neglected by observers. We also put forward that Iberian semi-syllabary may have its origin in the Neolithic Saharo-Canarian Circle, the same as other Mediterranean, Atlantic and European lineal scripts (apart from Berber/Tuareg) like Etruscan, Runes, Old Italian languages, Minoan Lineal A, Sitovo and Gradeshnitsa (Bulgaria) writings (6,000 years BC) and others.

In fact, Strabo wrote that Iberians had written language before since 6,000 BC. On the other hand, Sahara Desert was green and populated since before 5,000 years BC and we had proposed that most of Mediterranean culture, languages and writing, had a Saharan origin. Ti-m Missaou Sahara Iberian inscriptions, together with our previous and others researches on Canary Islands, further support this proposal, i.e.: rock scripts, Gimbutas-like Paleolithic figurines and unusual artifacts, like a lunisolar Egyptian-like calendar (“Cheeseboard/Quesera” at Lanzarote) carved in a Megalithic stone, do no support that Phoenicians and Romans carried Canarian ancient Guanche culture. Finally, a continuous lineal writing systems developing seems to have occurred during Paleolithic and Neolithic Epochs, which also harbor the related incise Lineal Megalithic Scripts that could have given rise to Iberian development and other lineal African, European and Mediterranean lineal language scripts.

Our present new data is interpreted in the context of the Sahara people migration which occurred when hyper- arid conditions started establishing about 6,000 years BC.


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• Sunday, November 01st, 2020

¿Euskera y paleosardo lenguas hermanas?

The hypothesis in which the work is framed is fundamentally indebted to the one put forward by Professor Eduardo Blasco Ferrer in his book Paleosardo. Le radici linguistiche della Sardegna neolithica (2010): that there was an important migration during the Mesolithic and Neolithic from Euskal Herria-Iberia to Sardinia, which provided the main population base of the island. Paleosardo, the name by which linguists refer to the language that was spoken on the island until its disappearance with the coming of Roman rule, would be related to Paleo-Basque. Traces of Basque can be found in the structure and in the lexicon of Sardinian Romance as well as in the toponymy of the island. Matching place names are found in both geographical areas. This is illustrated by a compilation of 350 place names where the municipality in which each typonym is located is also specified. The listing is accompanied by a map of Sardinia showing these place names. All of this material is based on a database of 4,500 place names possessing some presumably Basque root. Genetic studies are also provided that confirm affinities between both populations. In the chapter on conclusions, the aforementioned Mesolithic migration is pointed out as a probable cause, but without completely ruling out, for both Basque and Paleosardo, an eastern origin, dating from the Neolithic era. The work concludes by asking whether the two languages might not be the product of the fusion of both contributions, of Mesolithic migrants (hunter-gatherers) from Euskal Herria-Iberia, and of Neolithic migrants (cattle farmers) from the eastern Mediterranean.

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• Friday, July 31st, 2020

Hunger strike

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• Sunday, July 19th, 2020

By Xabier Gorrotxategi, Ph.D. in Archaeology

We have the sentence. Some thought that next to the sentence the solution to the Iruña-Veleia graffiti would come, as if it was going to fall from the sky. But I have to say that it doesn’t matter what the judge says about the possible forgery.

She has taken the decision following a technical procedure. In the first place, accepting what he judicial police said, because they are convinced that Eliseo Gil is a forger, but there is not the slightest proof of this. And secondly, admitting as good the conclusion of an expert from Madrid that 38 graffiti were recently made. It must be said that with the information provided by this expert I have reached a different conclusion: it shows that all the graffiti are authentic. In my opinion, the expert’s report has two insurmountable problems: 1, it doesn’t prove anything, and, therefore, what he has said is a matter of faith, not science; 2, to draw erroneous conclusions, he doesn’t look at each object as a whole, but rather what interests him, and therefore it is incomplete. This research has only anecdotal value in scientific terms. The legal value, however, is absolute, because the judge has accepted it.

The judge has the power to take this information subjectively, as she has done, but that is not a procedure that science accepts. Because it is science that has to accept the graffiti, and scientists are divided. And it must be the archaeological excavation, carried out at boxes adjacent to those of the findings, that should validate or invalidate the method used by Eliseo Gil at Iruña-Veleia and not the interested opinions of some witnesses.

So, the outcome of the trial has not been what we all think. I, looking from the outside what some have said, still think that the graffiti are authentic. The reality is that thinking, only some of us think, because others continue to spread lies, from the beginning to the present day. And because I believe (we believe), we demand that the public administration begins a real, completely independent and double authentication process; and also that a truly independent archaeological excavation be carried out. Nothing else. On the other hand, it must be denounced that the Basque public administrations are almost absent, failing to comply with the law.

Those who believe in a forgery (who interpret a forgery) say that there is no debate in the scientific arena, as if that was an argument. Let people know that from the first moment the new deputy [head of the provincial government] refused to publish a collection of graffiti prepared by the archaeologists. That is why there is (to some extent) no debate, since external experts and scientists don’t have a reference publication to criticize through science. Some scholars, however, chosen by the administration, have directly used the graffiti to build arguments, but the rest have not been able to do so, and therefore they only have an opinion on the graffiti. And knowing this, the possible arguments of those in favor of a forgery are reduced to nothing, in my opinion. Are they afraid of others? Yes, the only interpretation that comes to my mind is that they are afraid of truth. Let people know that after overcoming this obstacle, after looking at the originals, those who interpret them as authentic have been able to give an adequate response to all the interpretations of the others. It’s astonishing.

Therefore, there is a debate, even if some deny it over and over again, even if they want to deny it. It is, in fact, a debate between those who seek the truth and those who hide the truth. The latter, in favor of a forgery, say that archeometric tests are not necessary, as if the application of science was useless. Not at all, much less considering that the judge has only included 39 graffiti in the sentence, the rest remaining in limbo. And not at all, because science is open, unlike faith. Anyway, let’s remember that some scientists, overcoming all the obstacles, have been able to invalidate everything that the advocates of falsehood have said, to their shame.

Supporters of forgery repeatedly use the faith on falsehood to demonize others, but from the outside I can only say this: the arguments of some to demonstrate falsehood have been and continue to be ridiculous: DESCARTES, DENOK, ANQUISES, RIP … By saying this, do I want to discredit the work of scientists? It is those who have defended these false readings who have discredited themselves. One day, perhaps, they will tell us why they did it, how such savagery was possible. They are still on time, but I don’t think they have the courage.

Do I belong to a sect for saying that the truth must be sought? Thank you for placing me in that sect of supporters of Truth. And have I threatened liars for exposing some of their lies? Let’s specify the threats: it is a lie that the graffiti did not appear in situ, because in the general registry of the excavation some graffiti have coordinates and the appearance of a graffito is proven through photographs; it is an absolute lie that Descartes is written, since from the first moment MISCART was read; it is a lie that DENOK is written, let the reader see photos of it in the Internet; it is a lie that RIP is written, which some scholars and professors have defended (and are defending).

On the other hand, the latter, who are in favor of a forgery, forget to say that the judge has not admitted that this reading was written (RIP) by the testimony of the restorers of the Provincial Government, but because it was known from the beginning. But the expert from Madrid says that RIP is written! And it is a lie that the graffiti were made during the cleaning work (and there are countless lies and misinterpretations among those who favor a falsification), since the judicial police in their report was not able to find the slightest proof of it.

And the Iruña-Veleia site has not been damaged by the discovery of the graffiti following the archaeological method, but by the fact that the new director has used the bulldozer as an archaeological method. And our public institutions have been harmed for having accepted this action. And research in the Basque Country and in Spain has been harmed by the use of emotions and superstitions to tarnish science.

And what surprises me the most is that there is not the slightest hint of empathy on the part of some who have been the most affected. And also it must be said aloud: the one most affected has been a person, one of those who love ancient remains, one who is willing to document even the smallest and humblest vestige, a consequent archaeologist, a true archaeologist, Eliseo Gil Zubillaga. And the bottom of the problem is not whether he is innocent or guilty, since he has done nothing but being honest in his work as a skilled archaeologist.

To conclude, history repeats itself, yes, it has always been a fight between the powerful (along with executioners) and the subjects, a merciless fight, and it will continue to be so per secula seculorum. The question is where each one stands.

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• Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Hunger strike for the clarification of Iruña-Veleia

The verdict on the Iruña-Veleia case has been published. The judge has deemed the graffiti false. However, the only way to CLARIFY Iruña-Veleia is by SCIENTIFIC means, not by judicial means. With the sole objective of clarifying the Iruña-Veleia controversy, on July 23 we will start an indefinite HUNGER STRIKE.

The analysis they have used to punish Eliseo Gil has no scientific guarantees: the laboratory that has carried them out is not impartial, because it depends on those who promote late vasconization; the expert who has performed them has never dated graffiti, that is, he has no experience in this field; the method he has used has not been used by anyone in the world until now, so it is not reliable nor scientifically proven. And what is most serious, the report that failed to support the falsehood of the graffiti, the Antelo report, was not taken it into account by the judge, who did not call its author as a witness in the trial.

In addition, there are more than 20 reports that argue that the graffiti can be authentic, totaling 2,700 pages, written by experts from different countries and areas, without charging a single euro and putting their prestige at stake: Edward Harris, Antonio Rodriguez Colmenero, Ulrika Fritz, Miguel Thomson, Txillardegi, Henrique Knörr,  Joaquim Baxarias, Luis Silgo, Hector Iglesias, Juan Martin Elexpuru, Alicia Satue, etc.

That is why we ask the Basque Government and the new parliament to be constituted after the elections to be held in the Basque Autonomous Community, in addition to the parties, to assume the responsibilities that they have not assumed during 12 long years. It is time for our political representatives to assume their responsibility.

The objective of the hunger strike is for the parliament to approve these two points so that this issue can be clarified scientifically:

1. CONTROLLED EXCAVATIONS: excavations controlled by reputed archaeologists independent of the involved parties, in the vicinity of the designated places where the graffiti appeared.

2. DATING THE GRAFFITI: analyze a sample of pieces in different European laboratories with expertise in Archeometry.

Enough! Euskal Herria has the right to know which is its language, its history and its heritage.

The hunger strikers for the clarification of Iruña-Veleia

Note: these two petitions are not new and have been made for 12 years. Thus, in favor of truth and science, more than 150 people of recognized prestige among Basques have signed a manifesto to clarify Iruña-Veleia:  Garbiñe Biurrun Mancisidor, Patxi Zabaleta, Jose Luis Erdozia Mauleon, Ramon Aguirre, Gorka Knörr, Fermin Muguruza, Aiora Renteria, Gontzal Mendibil, Andoni Egaña, Pako Aristi, Toti Martinez de Lezea, Fermin Leizaola, Ramon Agirre, Rafa Rueda, Julia Itoiz, Olatz Zugasti, Benito Lertxundi, Jabier Muguruza, Alex Sardui, Aitzol Atutxa, etc.

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• Monday, July 06th, 2020

Iruña-Veleia, science, non-science, truth and “alternative facts” (Comments on the article “The ‘exceptional findings’ of Iruña-Veleia (Álava): syntax of an archaeological forgery”, by Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño)

By Miguel Thomson

Recently, archaeologist Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño published an article in the journal Zephyrus, published by the University of Salamanca, Spain, entitled “The ‘exceptional finds’ of Iruña-Veleia (Álava): Syntax of an archaeological forgery” (1), in which, expressing his personal views, he discusses the development of the case of the Iruña-Veleia’s findings in the academic, political and social milieus and in the media, speculating on the reasons that could be behind the alleged forgery, which he considers definitely proven by the Scientific Advisory Committee constituted by the Provincial Council of Alava (DFA). In this post I make a critique of Rodríguez Temiño’s article, exposing its obvious biases, its lack of rigor in the description of the facts, and its outrageous omissions, and pointing to its null contribution to the resolution of the scientific controversy over the authenticity of the graffiti, controversy whose very existence its author implicitly denies by claiming that the Iruña-Veleia case is “virtually over.”

In his article, Rodríguez Temiño does not intend to provide scientific arguments in order to convince the reader of the falsehood of the findings of Iruña-Veleia, but he considers the falsehood as a fact that was definitively proven by the DFA Committee. This follows from the abstract, which states that “in 2008 such pieces were proven to be forgeries”, and of his statements made later in the Terra Antiquae (TA) blog, where he comments “I do not intend to do science, that I leave to others” (2). The article, therefore, does not deal with the science involved in the study of the findings, but focuses on sociological issues surrounding them, as stated in the introduction: “This paper aims to rise above this conflictive dynamic, in order to focus on the peculiarities resulting from the social context in which the events occurred.”

The article has remarkable omissions, always in the sense of hiding information that might contradict the ideas defended by its author, and one of the most striking is the report of the British archaeologist Dominic Perring (3), which, from those coming out from the work of the Committee, is probably the one with the greatest scientific content (although it is not free from deficiencies susceptible to criticism). In his report, Perring, although inclined towards an “elaborate hoax” in Iruña-Veleia (inclination not based on the archaeological methodology, which he considers correct, but on the supposed anachronism of some findings*), is not at all sure of this, and he says that “further proof is needed”, adding:

“The final word on the subject must await definitive publication by leading scholars of the epigraphy and textual sources of the period. […]

The study of graffiti is key – and the specialist report on this material will need to include full catalogs that make it possible to relate individually inscribed items to their find spot, their composition, and to the scientific tests conducted on the objects. Above all, the conclusions drawn need to be peer-reviewed by leading international scholars in the field. […]

An additional test, and perhaps most important, is to see if the results obtained can be duplicated by an independent team of researchers. Much as is the case in any scientific experiment, the replication of the experiment provides the ultimate proof. ”

These recommendations were completely ignored by the DFA, which requested and paid for Perring’s report, and by all members of the Committee. Now, archaeologist Rodríguez Temiño again ignores them in his article.

In the debate that followed in TA, in which Rodríguez Temiño participated, after acknowledging that he is not a linguist or an epigrapher (“all my experience in Latin epigraphy has been the publication of some tituli painted on amphorae”), that “I have not excelled with my research in any field, that is why I am a perfectly unknown person”, and that “I do not pretend to do science, I leave this to others”, he claims to have collected “the most widely held and convincing opinion” (most widely held by whom? And convincing for whom? – because there are quite a number of respectable authors who are not convinced). But what is most surprising is his statement that “in the linguistic debate the time of the ‘reports’ has passed away, and if someone wants to claim the authenticity of the ostraca in that way, he must write a paper and submit it to a specialized high-impact journal on the subject; all the rest is to ‘beat about the bush’”, completely changing the place where the burden of the proof must fall: when the stratigraphic dating carried out by the Lurmen team [the archaeological team that excavated at Iruña-Veleia] has passed the demanding test of a peer-review of the highest level performed by two prestigious international archaeologists, Edward Harris (4) and Dominic Perring (3), who have assured that it was done with the highest professional standards (an opinion which is shared by Rodríguez Temiño himself – contrary to the opinion of the archaeologists of the University of the Basque Country (UPV) (5)), it is here where the level has been placed and where the ball has been put into play (using a metaphor used by Rodríguez Temiño (2)) and now, who must pass their peer-review and “write a paper and send it to a high-impact journal specialized in the subject” are those who assure that the graffiti are recent forgeries, providing evidence to prove it – and this is what Perring clearly meant after praising Lurmen’s archaeological work, saying that “further proof is needed” (obviously, to prove the alleged forgery). (And I do not intend to say that the “veristas” (pro-authenticity) authors do not need to publish, but the difficulty that they have for this must be understood considering the media fanfare orchestrated from the DFA against the authenticity of the findings and the judicialization of the case, which has determined the impossibility of accessing the pieces which are object of the dispute, which is necessary to solve doubtful readings and to perform physical tests that journal reviewers will probably request in view of the controversy created around the graffiti.)

Contrary to what Rodríguez Temiño seems to want us believe in his comments in TA (2), Zephyrus journal, in which he publishes his article, is not a high-impact scientific journal. Although he claims that Zephyrus “is indexed in the main international academic databases and, for the archeology field, is not only in the first quartile, but is the Spanish journal with the highest international impact. Academically, that is where I have put the playing field and where the ball is, whoever dislikes it”, in a search in the most prestigious scientific journal database, the Web of Science (WOS), Zephyrus is not indexed (in contrast to another Spanish archeology journal, Trabajos de Prehistoria). Zephyrus is indexed in another database, Scopus, not as prestigious as WOS, but not in the first quartile among archeology journals, but in the second, occupying the 76th position of 223, with an average of 0.37 citations per article in the three years after the publication (including letters and conference proceedings), an index called CiteScore (6). Zephyrus’s CiteScore is below those of other archeology journals published in Spanish language, such as Arqueología Iberoamericana (0.69), Estudios Atacameños (0.54), Trabajos de Prehistoria (0.52), and Hesperia (0.44) (the two first published in South America and the last two in Spain) (6). If what Rodríguez Temiño intends to say is that the bibliometric indexes of the journal in which he has published his article raise the debate on the findings of Iruña-Veleia to a new scientific level, it can only be taken with a good dose of irony, knowing that, considering the citation index of the journal, it is likely that no one will cite his article in the next three years, not even in a conference proceeding. It is also relevant to note, with regard to Zephyrus journal, that historian Martín Almagro Gorbea, who publicly declared that the graffiti were false before the DFA Committee made a pronouncement (7), is a member of the advisory board of this journal (8).

In the discussion on his article in TA (2), Rodríguez Temiño states that “The interpretation in order to be valid must be accepted in the expert field in question, be it archeology or any other. A person may have opinions erga omnes, as I have said, but if the interpretation lacks sufficient reception in the specialized field, it ends its journey”. According to this opinion, the pro-falsehood ideas of the Committee’s reports would have finished their journey, since not only their authors have failed to publish them in any scientific journal, but their reception in the international scientific field, almost nine years after the reports were made public and despite the media fanfare, has been practically null, a fact omitted by Rodríguez Temiño. I don’t know of any non-Spanish author who has cited the Committee’s arguments in a scientific article that has passed peer-review. The only international citation that I am aware of is that of the Italian professor Maria Letizia Caldelli, who in the “Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy”, in the section of a chapter on forgeries entitled “Forgeries carved in stone” (9), makes a very brief mention of the Iruña-Veleia case, to which she dedicates only two lines, citing the article “Hic et nunc. Contemporary forgeries. The case of Iruña-Veleia” by Joaquín Gorrochategui (10) (text of a conference presentation in Spanish), but giving the impression that she has not read or understood it, since she states that the graffiti are “related to different aspects of Roman everyday life”, when in reality Gorrochategui talks about various topics that graffiti deal with, with daily life being only one of them (in fact, only a small proportion of the graffiti are about everyday life). It may be a casual coincidence, or not, but it is noteworthy that Leitizia Caldelli cites Gorrochategui’s article precisely in the same book in which Francisco Beltrán Lloris, who has been a close collaborator of Gorrochategui, publishes two chapters (11).

When someone intends to publish on a subject, the first thing he does is to obtain as much information as possible on it. But Rodríguez Temiño seems to have made very little effort to obtain information on the Iruña-Veleia case, as he gives the impression that he has not read many of the articles and reports that have been published on the case. This follows from the statement he makes about articles that favor authenticity: “The most recent papers published by ‘veristas’ (Frank, 2011, 2012; Iglesias, 2012; Silgo, 2012) do not even begin to meet the necessary requirements to reopen the debate on the authenticity of the ‘exceptional finds’ from Iruña-Veleia”, which shows that he does not know the content of the articles he cites, since the two by Roslyn Frank have nothing to do with Iruña-Veleia. Another proof of his ignorance of the content of the reports and articles on Iruña-Veleia is his statement “The reports contain only generic considerations and do not attempt to rebut the objections lodged in the opinions submitted to the Committee. Therefore, they cannot really be considered substantiated contributions, regardless of who endorsed them”, which is manifestly false (for example, by reading the extensive and profusely documented 230 page report of the French linguist Hector Iglesias (12) – subsequently published as a book (13) –, it can be seen how its author refutes one by one the arguments of Joaquín Gorrochategui, Joseba Lakarra and Isabel Velázquez – perhaps the fact that it is in French has prevented Rodríguez Temiño from knowing its content). Since Rodríguez Temiño ignores the contents of the reports and articles favorable to authenticity, he simply reproduces the arguments of the the DFA Committee’s reports (with errors included), omitting the arguments and facts that contradict them published by other authors.

The only exception of an article favorable to authenticity that Rodríguez Temiño seems to have read is the report of the historian and epigraphist Antonio Rodríguez Colmenero (14), but without understanding well its content, as shown by this statement: “For Rodríguez Colmenero, there are indications of the presence of one Saul of Tarsus in Veleia between the 4th and 5th centuries, a proselytising missionary with obvious teaching skills, who founded a school for children of the settlement”. Rodríguez Temiño seems to be unaware that Saul is the Hebrew name of St. Paul “the apostle of the Gentiles”, a native of Tarsus, who lived in the first century AD, and that Rodriguez Colmenero’s reference is in a figurative sense (“a kind of Saul of Tarsus”), comparing the evangelizing work of the “pater” and “pontifex” that appears in the graffiti of Veleia with that of St. Paul. Nor has he understood Madariaga’s report, of which he makes a very personal interpretation, stating that it offers “reliable proof that they [the strokes] were recent”, when the reality is that Madariaga did not reach any definitive conclusion about the authenticity or falsity of the graffiti (15), a fact that Joaquín Gorrochategui acknowledges in his article “Hic et nunc” (10). Equally personal is his interpretation of the report of the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain, of which only partial extracts have been made public in the media and in the Ama Ata blog, of which the summary made by Rodríguez Temiño disagrees with what has been published.

In his article, Rodríguez Temiño exaggeratedly enhances the credentials of the authors of the “falsista” side and refutes the “veristas”, in another absolutely personal and subjective exercise of assessment of merits. Thus, he states that “All the participants in the academic debate over the Iruña-Veleia case know perfectly well that, in the current context, when a large group of widely acclaimed academic experts, such as the members of the committee, reach a categorical conclusion regarding an issue on which no one has challenged their expertise, filing reports with a court or posting them to websites are not the right way to reopen the doctrinal debate.” As for “a large group of widely acclaimed academic experts”, I must respond that among the members of the Committee I only know of two who have some international reputation (although far from reaching the level of “widely acclaimed”), for studies that they published many years ago: philologists Isabel Velázquez for her studies on Visigoth inscriptions on slates and Joaquin Gorrochategui for his studies on Aquitanian inscriptions. As for the “categorical conclusions”, those of Dominic Perring (2) or of chemist Juan Manuel Madariaga (15) were not categorical at all. In stark contrast with his upward judgment on “falsista” authors, he despises the opinions favorable to authenticity, and therefore the authors who support them, stating that they have “scant academic credit” and “little academic support.” His insistence on academics is perplexing, because the scientific field is much broader, and in this case more relevant, than the academic one (there have been Nobel prize awardees who were not professors) and because the international prestige of Spanish universities is at painful levels, and this is not my own appreciation, but it is the university professors who themselves openly criticize the inbreeding and clientelist networks of Spanish universities (16,17), which do not choose the best among their professors, which has contributed to that, in a recently published ranking, none of the Spanish universities is among the 200 world’s best (with the University of the Basque Country, where the Committee’s professors work, being in 492nd position) (18), and to the fact that they do not attract students from others countries (19), despite the existence of a Spanish-speaking Latin American community of more than 400 million people (by contrast, all 13 Dutch universities are among the world’s top 200 (20)). But, apart from the low international credit of Spanish universities, there is no doubt that, if the international scientific credit of the protagonists of the Iruña-Veleia case is assessed, who gains the upper hand is the “verista” archaeologist Edward Harris (4,21,22), and that the “veristas” Antonio Rodríguez Colmenero (Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at the University of Santiago de Compostela) (14,23) and Jean-Baptiste Orpustan (Honorary Professor at Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux III University) (24,25) do not lag behind in academic merits of any of the “falsista” authors. But even if the findings of Iruña-Veleia did not have the endorsement of very respectable scientists and academics, this would not necessarily mean that they were false, as evidenced by the case of the Altamira cave paintings, whose dating in the Paleolithic, proposed by its discoverer Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, a graduate in Law and amateur archaeologist, was rejected by the most prestigious French and Spanish prehistorians and archaeologists of the time (26), an opinion that proved to be wrong about two decades later with the discovery of similar paintings in French caves, which forced the prominent “falsist” of that time, Émile de Cartailhac, to recognize his mistake in his famous article “Mea culpa d’un sceptique” (27). History is the best teacher, but there are still many who insist on ignoring her lessons.

Another issue that Rodríguez Temiño addresses in his article is the social support in favor of authenticity (which he says that is “little”) and the support of the media to the idea of falsehood, to which he gives an exaggerated importance (“Berria’s support has been fundamental to the ‘falsista’ faction”), as if it had any relevance on the authenticity or falsity of the findings. This is the same attitude that Joaquín Gorrochategui adopts in his article “Hic et nunc” (10), in which he asserts that “nobody ignores that this conclusion [of falsehood] is accepted by the vast majority of the Basque public opinion”. But what really no one ignores is that public opinion is changeable and influenced by the messages it receives through the media, and this has been evident in the Iruña-Veleia case, in which there has been a changing trend of the comments that accompany the news about the case, with its relevance to elucidate the authenticity or falsity of the findings being absolutely null. The same can be said on the support of some media to falsehood, in particular the nationalist Basque Berria newspaper, which Rodríguez Temiño highlights in his article, or the greater or lesser attention that these media pay to the Iruña-Veleia case. And, again, we must return to the case of Altamira to see how Sanz de Sautuola had to endure the teasing and contempt of the newspapers of the time as a result of his discovery (26).

The article concludes with the categorical statement “Although more news can be expected following the court decision, the Iruña-Veleia case is virtually over”. The archaeologist who acknowledges not to stand out in any field (2) dares, in a pontificating tone and without providing new arguments, to contradict not only the “verista” authors, some of them of recognized prestige in their fields, but even the “falsista” ones. For the reality is that the authors whom he thinks that he is supporting have made statements suggesting that not all is over from the scientific point of view in the Iruña-Veleia case. Thus, Joaquín Gorrochategui, in the discussion after the talks at the conference “Linguistic aspects of the inscriptions of Iruña-Veleia” given by Luis Silgo and Hector Iglesias, made the following comments: “My opinions can be refuted by other persons or by another committee … let the best world’s archaeometrists come and say something” (28). These are not statements expected from someone who considers the case of Iruña-Veleia closed, nor is that of Joseba Lakarra in Diario Vasco “[The discussion about Iruña-Veleia] has not been closed well. I have not seen any articles in any scientific journal” (29). And at this point it should also be remembered that neither Dominic Perring (3) nor Juan Manuel Madariaga (15) reached in their reports any definitive conclusions about the authenticity or falsity of the findings, the first expressly making a series of recommendations to continue the study, among them the performance of control excavations, none of which has been carried out. If for Rodríguez Temiño the case of Iruña-Veleia “is virtually over”, that is only his particular opinion, which is not generally shared by the experts who have studied the findings, and that he seems to have taken from a radical “falsista” movement whose views are publicized in some Internet blogs, rather than the less extremist opinions of some members or external advisors of the DFA’s Committee.

In conclusion, the article by Rodríguez Temiño does not contribute anything new to the scientific debate about the authenticity of the Iruña-Veleia graffiti, since from the beginning its author assumes that its falsity was definitively proven by the DFA’s Committee in 2008. Although Rodríguez Temiño is an archaeologist and the subject of the journal in which he publishes is archeology, the article does not deal with the findings of Iruña-Veleia from an archaeological point of view, but, as it is clear in the introduction, it focuses on the social background that surrounds such findings. And although in sociological issues subjectivity is inevitable, in an article published in a scientific journal one would expect that its author would try to be, or at least appear to be, as objective as possible, in a matter that is highly controversial, rising above the controversy and providing a balanced and neutral view. However, Rodríguez Temiño does not make such an attempt, but he takes sides and does not hide it, positioning himself unambiguously on the falsehood side and on its most extreme wing: that which states that the debate on the authenticity of the Iruña-Veleia findings was definitely settled with a supposedly categorical verdict of the DFA’s Committee and that after that verdict little or nothing else remains to be said on the subject (and only in this sense his assertion that “the Iruña-Veleia case is virtually over” can be understood), elevating the pronouncement of a Committee formed by professors of a university located in the 492nd position in a world ranking (which was neither consensual, nor unanimous, nor categorical) to a level similar to that of a papal dogmatic ex cathedra definition. And to support his ideas, he has no qualms about joining the “Trumpian” fashion of “alternative facts” (alluding to the euphemism used by the advisers of US President Donald Trump): the extravagant praise of the credentials of the “falsista” authors, the disdain of the “verista” authors, the denial that the pro-authenticity reports and articles provide arguments that rebut (or at least try to) those of the Committee, the nonexistent evidence obtained by Madariaga on the recent execution of the graffiti, the implicit denial of the existence of an unsolved scientific controversy, or the supposedly high impact of the journal in which he publishes his article. And among the “alternative facts” we must also include its clamorous omissions, such as Perring’s recommendations, the arguments of the reports that contradict those of the Committee, or the assessment made of the graphological analysis in the police’s report, which denies its scientific validity to incriminate the author of the latrine texts (30) (mentioning only the graphological report requested by the DFA on these texts). Their bias is also evident in their demand to those who want to claim the authenticity of the graffiti, and only to them, of “writing a paper and submitting it to a high-level journal specialized in the subject” (2), when the authors of the pro-falsehood reports on which Rodríguez Temiño relies to justify his position have not published their arguments in any scientific journal and have not passed any kind of peer-review, ignoring the recommendations of Dominic Perring (additionally, one must ask, what is the point of requesting to publish on an issue that, according to Rodríguez Temiño, is “virtually over”?).

The case of Iruña-Veleia, eleven years after the findings and nine years after Perring’s recommendations, is still waiting for science to be fully involved and give its verdict, following the usual channels of any scientific finding and leaving aside personal opinions and biased sociological analyses, lacking in rigor and substance, which intend to put an end, nobody knows with which intentions, to an issue which from the scientific point of view is still in its prolegomena.

*In his report, referring to the supposed anachronisms of the graffiti, Perring quotes comments on the Celtiberia blog about the name Nefertiti by Egyptologist Juan Carlos Moreno and about the supposedly modern appearance of the Basque language of the graffiti. Perring does not understand Spanish, since the archaeological report by Eliseo Gil and Idoia Filloy had to be translated for him into English, and he complains about the poor quality of the translation; therefore, someone had to have informed him of the discussions in Celtiberia. Perring’s report appears as an annex to the University of the Basque Country Archeology Department’s report, and, presumably, the professors from that department were who proposed the DFA to request a report from the British archaeologist. I leave to the each one’s speculation to figure out where the information that Perring received about comments on topics outside his specialty, including that with the “Anquises” argument, which he also mentions, made in a Spanish blog, came from, but it is obvious that somebody had to provide it, influencing him in his opinion on the supposed anachronisms of the graffiti.


1. Rodríguez Temiño, I.  “The ‘exceptional findings’ of Iruña-Veleia (Álava): syntax of an archaeological forgery”. Zephyrus (2017); 79: 197-217.

2. Rodríguez Temiño, I. Terrae Antiquae. Iruña Veleia y sus “revolucionarios” grafitos IX: El auto de apertura de juicio oral. 24/6/2017.

3. Perring, D. An evaluation of the reliability of the stratigraphic sequences and findings described in the “Report on the discoveries of exceptional graffiti in the Roman city of Veleia (Iruña de Oca, Alava)” prepared by Idoia Filloy Nieva and Eliseo Gil Zubillaga. 2008.

4. Harris, EC. Iruña-Veleia archaeological assessment. 2009.–files/harris/Info-Harris.pdf

5. Azkarate, A, Bengoetxea, B, Núñez, J, Quirós, JA. Valoración arqueológica del “Informe conjunto arqueológico de Iruña-Veleia. Informe sobre los hallazgos de grafitos de carácter excepcional” y de la documentación del recinto 59, sector 5. 2008.

6. Journal metrics –

7. Carrero, MJ. «Los hallazgos de Iruña-Veleia son una broma o una estafa». 1/11/2008.

8. Zephyrus. Equipo de redacción.

9. Caldelli, ML.  Forgeries carved in stone. In “Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy”, pp. 49-54. Oxford University Press. 2014.

10. Gorrochategui, J. Hinc et nunc. Falsificaciones contemporáneas. El caso de Iruña-Veleia. In: “El monumento epigráfico en contextos secundarios: Procesos de reutilización, interpretación y falsificación”. Servei de Publicacions de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Bellaterra (Barcelona). 2011.

11. Hesperia: banco de datos de lenguas paleohispánicas. Equipo.

12. Iglesias, H. Les inscriptions de Veleia-Iruña. 2009.

13. Iglesias H. Les Inscriptions d’Iruña-Veleia: Analyse linguistique des principales inscriptions latines et basques découvertes sur le site archéologique de Veleia. Connaissances & Savoirs. 2016.

14. Rodríguez Colmenero, A. Iruña-Veleia: sobre algunos grafitos singulares aparecidos en las excavaciones arqueológicas de la ciudad romana. Un parecer. 2009.

15. Madariaga, JM. Estudio e investigación del yacimiento de Iruña Veleia. Análisis químicos.

16. Gimbernat, E. El declive irresistible de la universidad. El Mundo. 8/6/2016.

17. Díez Ripollés, JL. La endogamia universitaria. El País. 25/1/2017.

18. Yanke, R. Ninguna universidad española entre las 200 primeras del ranking de Shangai. El Mundo. 15/7/2017.

19. Sanmartín, OR. La universidad española es invisible para el mundo. El Mundo. 15/2/2017.

20. Rachidi, I. El ‘pleno al 13′ de Holanda: así coloca todas sus universidades entre las mejores del mundo. El Mundo. 15/2/2017.

21. Harris, EC. “Iruña-Veleia: they did a superb job”. 30/8/2016.;

22. Harris, EC. Es imposible falsificar los 400 grafitos de Iruña-Veleia”. Gara. 18/11/2015.

23. Rodríguez Colmenero, A. Grafitos, textos y diseños de la Veleia romana: la urgencia de una solución. 1er Congreso Internacional sobre Iruña-Veleia. 24/11/2012.

24. Orpustan, J-B. “A propos des “Observaciones sobre los recientes hallazgos epigráficos paleovascos de Iruña-Veleia (TrespuentesVillodas, Álava)” de L. Silgo Gauche”. 2009.

25. Orpustan, J-B. La langue basque au moyen âge, IXe – XVe siècles. En annexe: Du basque médiéval au basque antique: les inscriptions de Veleia-Iruña en Alava. pp. 259–277.

26. Calvo Poyato, J. Altamira. Historia de una polémica. Stella Maris. Barcelona. 2015.

27. Cartailhac, É. La grotte d’Altamira, Espagne. Me culpa d’un sceptique. L’Anthropologie (1902); 13: 348-354.

28. Gorrochategui, J. Turno de preguntas de la conferencia “Aspectos lingüísticos de las inscripciones de Iruña-Veleia”. Vitoria-Gasteiz. 25/3/2010.

29. Lakarra, J. Entrevista en 1/7/2011.

30. Van den Driessche, K. La Diputación Foral de Álava basó su querella en un informe falso. Ama Ata. 9/6/2017.

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• Friday, June 12th, 2020

We, the Iruña-Veleia Argitu association, in response to the sentence that El Correo has made public, which shows the “level” of the imposed judicial system, must express our opposition to the sentence for the following reasons:

- At the trial all rights have been violated by not having allowed Eliseo Gil to date the graffiti at the best European laboratories, as it has not been allowed in the past 12 years. This is unacceptable. If they think they are false, why don’t they let him do the datings at another laboratory?

- At first, they said that there were over 400 false graffiti, and now the judge says that they are 36, and to be able to say that they have used analyses carried out at a laboratory of the Spanish Ministry of Culture. But this laboratory is not impartial, because some members of that Ministry are spreading the idea of late Basquization [migration of Basques into de Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire], and since the Iruña-Veleia findings disprove this theory, they are doing the unspeakable to argue that they are false. In addition, an expert witness at the trial showed that the modern metals on those 36 graffiti were not the result of recent engravings, because they were very few microns in size, but had become attached by contact during cleaning or transportation. What are they afraid of for not allowing to perform dating analyses?

- As we saw in the trial, the restorers of the Museum of Archaeology of Álava, after examining the graffiti under a microscope, said that for them they were authentic. For example, in one of them the reading is not RIP, but the supposed R is in fact a triple stripe denoting holiness, with some fragments chipped away. Why has the judge not taken these important testimonies into consideration?

- Lurmen [the archaeological excavating company working at Iruña-Veleia led by Eliseo Gil] had a contract for many years and had no financial interest in finding strange things, as the judge says. With the plates, jugs, and all kinds of normal objects that were being found, with the walls they were fixing … it was enough. The only one that has benefited here has been the Department of Archaeology of the UPV / EHU [University of the Basque Country], because they took control of the excavation site after the expulsion of Lurmen and received funds for more than one and a half million euros. The first thing they did was to damage the site with a bulldozer. Why don’t they sit in the dock those who really had to be there: those from the Department of Archaeology for the destruction with the bulldozer?

- At the trial it has not been proven who performed the (according to them) forgery, or when or how it was performed. So, how is it possible to say that there is a crime without providing any evidence?

- The crime of embezzlement is also inacceptable because Eliseo Gil did not keep a single euro from the payment for the work that Cerdan [who authored a report on physical analyses on the graffiti] had to do. So how can he be accused of embezzlement?

Eliseo Gil is obviously going to appeal this unfair sentence.

At this moment we are more afraid than ever that the graffiti will be destroyed. Don’t let them dare do it!

We will only achieve justice when we get the dating analyses done at European laboratories. In the meantime, here they will face us, defending the dignity of the Basque language and of this people!

Iruña-Veleia Argitu

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• Sunday, December 29th, 2019

“Latín” rock scripts in Canary Islands are ancient Iberian inscriptions (Iberian-Guanche)
A story of forgotten genetics, scripts, pyramids and other prehistoric artifacts

Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, Adrian Lopez-Nares, Ignacio Juárez, Valentín Ruizdel-Valle, Álvaro Callado, Alejandro H-Sevilla, Eduardo Gomez-Casado
10 November 2019


“Latin” rock scripts were discovered 30 years ago in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura Islands (Canary Islands). However, they are an incised linear writing which lacks Q, H, P and T frequent Latin letters and translation into Latin has not been possible. A transcription and a translation hypothesis was proposed long ago because scripts were almost identical to those of the Iberian semi-syllabary which was used in Iberia and France during first millennium BC; “Latin” scripts were named “IberianGuanche” and were mostly religious and funerary.

This type of lineal incise writing is present in all seven Canary Islands and they may have been unnoticed because all other islands except Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are humid and covered by vegetation. This type of linear writings are, like Iberian, similar to Runes (Atlantic and Central Europe),Old Italian scripts (Raetian, Venetic, Lepontic, Etruscan) and Sitovo and Gradeshnistsa scripts (Bulgaria, 5th millennium BC). Language behind Iberian-Guanche scripts might be related to both Berber and Old Basque languages.

People who wrote “Iberian-Guanche” inscriptions seem to be Canary Island inhabitants and not visitors. Genes (people) of present and past Canary Islanders are difficult only to assign to North Africa because gene flow between North Africa and Iberia existed in prehistoric times and it is difficult to distinguish Iberian and North African with Canarian gene profiles. Genetics by itself is not sufficient for relating people or specific for geography, this is firmly demonstrated for mitochondrial genes.

Linguistics, Culture, and Archaeology are necessary to interpret population genetics data.  Extant pyramids in North Africa, Western Sahara and possibly Tenerife, existence of prehistoric artifacts and rock calendars (“Quesera”/Cheeseborad lunisolar calendar at Lanzarote and others at Gran Canaria Island) and presence of Cart-Ruts  on Lanzarote volcano tops, may indicate an older date for Canarian prehistory than that of Punic/Roman presence.Finally Canarian prehistoric findings have been long neglected and forgotten but a common IberianGuanche rock writing culture existed in Canary Islands.

Iberian-Guanche-Latin rock scripts in all Canary Is

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• Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Deia “Algunas estelas halladas en Soria apuntan a la onomástica vascona”.

Berria “Izenek euskal jatorria izan dezaketela ez diot nik, linguistek diote” (“Yo no digo que los nombres puedan ser euskaldunes, lo dicen los lingüístas”)

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