Selected category ◊ Iruña Veleia ◊

• 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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• Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

Iruña-Veleia Argitu carried out an event on 18 November inside the Guggenheim Museum on one of the sculptures of Serra, to denounce the legal wrong and demand datings of the writings, on the 10 anniversary of this quandary.

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• Sunday, December 11th, 2016

01-Sarrera_Introducción Introduction

02-Felix_Placer El contexto religioso en Euskal Herria en la época de Iruña-Veleia

03-Julen_Urkiza Txapartegi: Elizaren historia Euskal Herrian  (la historia de la iglesia en Euskal Herria)

04-Jorge_Ribero_Meneses Pruebas concluyentes del origen cantábrico del cristianismo legitiman los hallazgos de Iruña-Beleia

05-Victoria_Sendon_de_Leon: Movimientos heréticos gnósticos en la Península Ibérica

06-Felix Rodrigo Mora Revolución Bagauda y Arte Medieval, visita guiada a la basícila Sans Prudencio de Armentia

07-Antonio_Rodriguez_Colmenero: Grafitos de temas religiosos en Iruña-Veleia

08-Feliz_Zubiaga_Legarreta Herejía en Iruña-Veleia

09-Jose_Antonio_Gonzalez_de_Salazar Badaya

10-Jon_Nikolas_Lopez_de_Ituiño Transliteración del Pater Noster al euskera

11-Antonio_Arnaiz_Villena La antigua religión de la Puerta (ATA), la Madre (AMA), el Fuego (SU) y la Oscuridad (AS)

Two other communications on the religious theme at the second international congress of Iruña-Vel:

14_Mikel_Larrañaga_Arregi Complet Video


Exposición: “La historia no puede esperar” (Carlos Uraga)

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• Sunday, November 06th, 2016


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• Wednesday, May 06th, 2015

Miguel Thomson:  Science and controversy over the authenticity of graphites from Iruña-Veleia

The question of the authenticity or falsehood of the epigraphic findings at the archeological site of Iruña-Veleia is a strictly scientific one, which should be solved by applying the scientific method, which is the same for all sciences, whether they belong to the so-called natural or humanistic categories.

The hypotheses that have been proposed are whether the graffiti found during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns were inscribed in ancient Roman times (2nd – 5th centuries AD), as proposed by the archaeologists based on stratigraphy, or are the product of a recent forgery (20th – 21st centuries), as proposed by some members of the Scientific Advisory Committee established for the study of the findings.

In the presentation, a criticism will be made on the process of scientific assessment followed by the Committee and on the structure of their reports, and the existence of numerous findings from Antiquity paralleling those from Iruña-Veleia, as well as their reproducibility through subsequent findings, will be shown, thus fulfilling scientific criteria providing a high degree of credibility to the Veleian graffiti.

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• Friday, March 27th, 2015

Edward Harris: Harris Matrix MAN 1

Edward Harris: Harris Matrix MAN 2

Edward Harris: Harris Matrix MAN 3

Edward Harris invented the so called “Harris Matrix”; this excavation methodology is used by all archaeologists over the World. Harris wrote a report supporting the genuinity of Iruña-Veleia graffiti. His presence in the First World Congress on Iruña-Veleia (Gasteiz-Vitoria, 2013) was very important for continuing research. Now, he has given a conference at  Archaeological National Museum in Madrid (Tuesday ,March  17th, 2015).

This Madrid conference was a great success. More than 300 people attended and he explained his excavation methodology and the history of “Harris Matrix”. He also showed Iruña-Veleia information and insisted that archaeological methodology in Iruña-Veleia was completely correct as than by Lurmen (Drs. Gil and Filloy). He also pointed out and strongly recommended that discussion about Iruña-Veleia findings should strictly stick to Archaeology and its methodology and ignore other parameters, like linguistic, political or interested ones.

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• Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

The third mistake of the official Basque Philology is to ignore the Iberian language. When it comes to the numbers in Iberian language J. Lakarra is the most important representative. Anyone can see that ban (Iberian)/bat (Basque) (1), bi-bin/bi (2), irur-kilu/hiru (3), laur/lau (4), borste-bors/bost (5), sei/sei (6), sisbi/zazpi (7), sores/zortzi (8), abar-bar/hamar (10), orkei/hogei (20) and erder/erdi (half) are related to Basque. But Mr. Lakarra wrote in his report that there is no relation and that this does not fit with the theory.

Luckily, two Catalan researchers (J. Ferrer and E. Orduña) have written some reports in favor of this relation. However, here everyone claims that no relation exists between Basque and Iberian and act as if nothing happened (the same as with “Euskalduntze Berantiarra” of ETB). Moreover Euskaltzaindia has given him the responsibility to do the etymological dictionary, being his theories not consistent as seen here. In the Paleohispanica congress held in Spain, Lakarra and Gorrotxategi were considered the successors of Mitxelena, but they already realized that they are not acting logically.

The last main reason to believe that the official philology here is colonized is what happened in Iruña-Veleia. To the ones interested in understanding what happened, we recommend to watch the documentary about Altamira, because that case is exactly the same as this.

On the one hand, the interests of the Church: the paintings questioned what it was said about the evolution of the human species, and Iruña-Veleia questions what the Church says about the beginning of Christianity. We should not forget that the person that dismissed Eliseo Gil was Lorea Lopez de Lacalle, whose superior was Rafa Larreina, both members of the Opus Dei. In fact, they took the graphites to the Vatican, instead of bringing them to laboratories.

On the other hand Altamira did not help the interests of the French archaeologists since it was older than Laskaux. In Iruña-Veleia the Department of Archaeology of the University of the Basque Country was not involved in the excavations and wanted to gain access to it at any cost. The 7.000.000 euros that the Department has received duringthe last 6 years help us understand the reason why they wanted to leave Eliseo Gil out.

Another similarity: the suffering of the discoverers, both of Marcelino Sautuola in Altamira, and Eliseo Gil and Oskar Eskribano in Iruña-Veleia. Marcelino died 17 years after that, isolated, having nearly everyone against. Fortunately he was well-off and he did not have problems to get by. On the contrary, Eliseo and Oskar have been waiting for the decision of the court for 9 years. They have almost everything against them: the judicial system, the Church, the university, the regional government and most of the media. If all these really believed that the graphites are false, they would be the most interested ones on carrying out the dating. However, they lie because they know they are authentic.

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• Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Edward Harris, Director of the National Museum of Bermuda and author of the archaeological stratigraphic method used worldwide, knows perfectly the history of the archaeological site of Iruña-Veleia, since he personally visited it and participated in the 1st International Conference on Iruña-Veleia, where he saw that those who support the falsehood of the findings failed to go to defend their arguments, and, additionally, he requested from Eliseo Gil the field notebooks to see whether he had performed the excavation correctly or not.

In the letter he strongly asserts that in modern archaeology nothing like this has ever happened, that it is an utter disgrace to the archaeological profession, not only in the Basque Country, but also in the Europa, and that it is necessary to reinstate Eliseo Gil and the other archaeologists for the appropriate work that they have done.

It is impossible to forge the 400 graffiti from Iruña-Veleia

While I can make no pretence to understand all of the matters relating to the graffiti from Iruña-Veleia, your discussion of the extraordinary inept way in which this matter was handled by the authorities is extremely well argued and is a very important statement on the disgraceful proceedings which have resulted in the libel and slandering of several very professional excavating archaeologists.

One does not need to be an archaeologist to agree that these objects are authentic, for the bases for declaring them to be forgeries defies all logic and understanding of circumstances in which normal forgers operate, to say nothing of the total lack of monetary or other gain that supposedly should accrue to the archaeologists who allegedly created those 400 “masterpieces” of ancient graffiti.

The matter is an utter disgrace to the archaeological profession in the Basque Country, in Spain and indeed Europe. The way must be found to reinstate Eliseo Gil Zubillaga, Idoia Filloy Nieva and any other archaeologists who have been tarred with the hideous brush of being forgers, there being no earthly reason or motivation for them to carry out such an massive fraud on the archaeological community and indeed the world at large.

The defamation of the character of those individuals is without precedence in archaeology, and once would venture to state has NEVER been levelled at any EXCAVATING archaeologist in living or recorded memory, especially in the modern period, starting from the 1960s, when the stratigraphic method finally came to the fore as THE ESSENTIAL SCIENTIFIC METHOD for archaeological excavations, a process accelerated in the later 1970s with the publication of Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy in 1979, methods Gil and Filloy adhered to in their work.

The scientific fact of the matters is that stratification, as the great geologist Charle Lyell once wrote, is an unbiased record of the Past; that it is “undesignedly commemorative” of the Past, and if excavated correctly on an archaeological site, the archaeologist will recover its stratigraphic sequence, which is that unbiased (untouched by human hands) record of each archaeological site, its DNA, if you will.

One would have thought that in order to make a full and complete forgery, the archaeologists would also have for forge or fabricate the stratigraphic record of the site as well, but in the case of  Iruña-Veleia, it appears that they did a very good job of recovering that unbiased record, that unbiased stratigraphic sequence—against which ALL later analyses of the site AND ITS CONTAINED REMAINS must be tested.

Since Gill and Filloy have recovered the stratigraphic sequences of their various trenches at Iruña-Veleia, it follows that if they state the “forgeries” were found at such and such positions in the sequences, that the artifacts are “true”, authentic, and datable in relation to the stratigraphic sequence and other artefacts and physical evidence found on the site. To suggest otherwise, given the 400-odd graffiti objects recovered would be to suggest a fraud that would have had to included everyone on the site, from the lowest-level diggers in the trenches, to the staff and conservators in the artefacts laboratories and offices, and indeed anyone who discovered or subsequently handled those objects in any way whatsoever.

Regarding apt suggestions about the extraordinary range of skills and knowledge that would be needed to produce the 400 “forgeries”, the  Iruña-Veleia archaeologists would have to be some of the most outstanding geniuses in modern archaeology and should be given the best university chairs in the land, rather than being drummed out of the profession by those whose motivation beggars the imagination.

Edward Harris

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• Friday, July 31st, 2020

Hunger strike

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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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