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13 April, 2006


In regards to my last post, I received the following comment:

I would like to clarify a few points regarding the article ‘First Knights Templar are discovered’ published by the Australian Daily Telegraph on 10 April 2006. The article was indeed an example of journalistic misrepresentation. I have never maintained that the human remains unearthed at Jacob’s Ford are ‘the first provable example of actual Knights Templar’. The castle of Jacob’s Ford was garrisoned by Templars when it fell in 1179, but it also contained many other soldiers, servants and builders. There is a strong possibility that one or more of the bodies discovered on site might be that of a Templar, but this could never be stated with absolute certainty. I am quoted in the article as stating that ‘never before has it been possible to trace their remains to such an exact time in history’, with the quote positioned to imply that ‘their remains’ refers to Templars, but, in fact, ‘their remains’ was a general reference to those engaged in the wider crusading endeavour of the twelfth century. Similarly, I am quoted as saying: ‘This discovery is the equivalent of the Holy Grail to archaeologists and historians. It is unparalleled’. When made, this statement did not relate to the supposed discovery of Templar remains, but to the discovery of the long lost castle of Jacob’s Ford. The story of this fortress is both fascinating and revelatory, but not for the reasons outlined in the Telegraph’s article.
Dr Thomas Asbridge
Senior Lecturer in Medieval History
Queen Mary, University of London

I think (or at least hope) most of my regular readers know that my complaints about the article were not about Dr. Asbridge, but rather about the amazingly inept presentation of the reporter and the ties to the Dan Brown/HBHG conspiracy theory nuts. And despite not having been asked for an apology for pointing out the stupidity of the article to which he was linked, I do apologise if my having done so put Dr. Asbridge in an awkward position. As I mentioned below, several colleagues said from the outset that he must have been badly misquoted, and I very much appreciate his having taken the time to write a clarification.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 April, 2006 10:43 pm

    Well done on both your parts. It’s a pity that the media is so often confused about these matters!

  2. 14 April, 2006 2:02 am

    I’d like to second that!! I too apologize for my remarks about what was (as it turned out after reading Dr. Asbridge’s clarification) a significant misrepresentation on the journalist’s part.

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