For immediate release from Horeb Press:

The discovery of the Mesha Stele (Moabite Stone) led to an international race to find antiquities in the sands of Moab. Brave explorers ventured into Transjordan, hoping to secure the next archaeological treasure. Thanks to his extensive contacts among the leaders of desert tribes, Moses Shapira came to possess hundreds of pieces, which became known as Moabitica, many of which were grotesque idols containing mysterious inscriptions. Presented to the world as authentic witnesses to a long-lost ancient Moabite culture, they were ultimately declared forgeries.

Were 19th-century scholars right in their condemnation of the entirety of the Moabitica collections? Were they all forgeries? What about the alleged forgers? Will a fresh assessment of the evidence support the charges against them? What if some were real and some were fake? Will we be able to discern between the true and false?

Author Ross K. Nichols reopens the controversial case in a prequel to The Moses Scroll with The Moabite Scandal

The Moabite Scandal will thoroughly document the entire story from 19th-century reports contained in the records of the Palestine Exploration Fund and in newspapers and periodicals of the day. 

Research for the upcoming book will require the author and a team of researchers to search and find surviving pieces of the Moabitica collections, presently located in museums and private collections around the world, for reexamination and reassessment. 

Examining a Moabitica piece at the offices of The Palestine Exploration Fund courtesy of Felicity Cobbing, Chief Executive and Curator of the PEF – London, England.

The Moabite Scandal will include sketches of pieces from the Moabitica collections produced in the 19thcentury, charts and illustrations, and an up-to-date record of known locations for surviving Moabitica pieces.

The Moabite Scandal chronicles the shocking, true story of the greatest scandal in the history of biblical archaeology, tentatively scheduled for publication April 2, 2022, on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Moabitica affair.