"Yonah" ON the Ossuary? - No. Simply: No.

"According to Prof. Charlesworth the tiny little “stick figure” that has been interpreted as a “Jonah” image by some, appears to be ingeniously formed so that its lines spell out the name YONAH in Hebrew—Yod, Vav, Nun, Hey" - Dr. James Tabor

So... where I am tempted to take a drive down to Princeton and knock on Dr. Charlesworth's office door I feel that enough people will be doing that already when this debacle really gets underway.

So where to begin then?

Is the name Yonah "ingeniously formed" with the stick figure with a seaweed wrapped head? I am skeptical about this ossuary bearing any such name.

Image originally posted on TaborBlog.
At least he's showing that the "head" is a half-sphere.
Ok, so here's the image on Dr. Tabor's blog where he reveals the name יונה. Let me extract it and rotate it so it's more in a line:

Provided that it is a faithful representation of what is actually *on* the ossuary and we understand that the engraver was in no ways a professional, this could "pass" as the name Jonah if there were no better context to dictate otherwise.

However, does it faithfully represent what is on the ossuary? 

I do not think so, much in the same way that a of a lot of the multimedia released about this find (images, the reproductions, video clips) does not faithfully reproduce elements of the inscription.

In fact, I think that "Jonah" being here is more of an exercise of reading tea leaves (or in this case, nests of scratches).

Here is the sum total of scratches "below the hip" of the diagram:

As it appears in the photograph.

Lines outlined.

They don't quite match up with the "Jonah" inscription. In order to get that nice diagram above, there are several rules that have to be observed:

Rule 1: The entire inscription can be rotated in order to make sense of it.
Rule 2: Lines that are close can be joined to form letters.
Rule 3: Lines that are close can also be disconnected to form letters.
Rule 4: "Extra lines" can be ignored.

In my next post, I'll go over a number of other names and words that can be extracted from this mess of lines by following these four simple rules.


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