- Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño, “The ‘exceptional finds’ of Iruña-Veleia (Álava): Syntax of an archaeological forgery”, Zephyrus LXXIX, enero-junio 2017, 197-217. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14201/zephyrus201779 [oraingoz aktibatu gabe].
In 2006, news broke of the discovery of ostraca bearing text in Latin and Basque, as well as Christian drawings, during the 2005 and 2006 excavation campaigns at the Iruña-Veleia site in Álava, Spain. In 2008, these pieces were shown to be fakes. The ‘Iruña-Veleia case’, as it has come to be known, has been the subject of several partial studies, primarily focused on the forgeries. This paper will analyse it from a contextual perspective. To this end, it first defines the general pattern, or ‘syntax’, followed by historical forgeries. It then applies this syntax to the Iruña-Veleia case, reviewing how it unfolded in the academic, political, institutional and social spheres. In each one, the syntax showed certain oddities, mainly due to the social context in which the events took place and their link to nationalist identity, a subject related to the content of the forged specimens. Despite this link, however, in this case it cannot be concluded that nationalism was the driving force behind the forgery.