Prof. Amos Kloner oversaw the archeological work at the Talpiot tomb when it was discovered during construction in 1980.
What do you make of the assertion that Jesus and his family were buried there?
It makes a great story for a TV film. But it's completely impossible. It's nonsense. There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb. They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle class family from the 1st century CE.
But there is apparently such a confluence of resonant names.
The name "Jesus son of Joseph" has been found on three or four ossuaries. These are common names. There were huge headlines in the 1940s surrounding another Jesus ossuary, cited as the first evidence of Christianity. There was another Jesus tomb. Months later it was dismissed. Give me scientific evidence, and I'll grapple with it. But this is manufactured.
What of the assertion that the 10th ossuary disappeared from your care and may be none other than the "James" ossuary?
Nothing has disappeared. The 10th ossuary was on my list. The measurements were not the same (as the James ossuary). It was plain (without an inscription). We had no room under our roofs for all the ossuaries, so unmarked ones were sometimes kept in the courtyard (of the Rockefeller Museum).
Why, if you dismiss the claims, has the IAA loaned out ossuaries to the filmmakers?
I don't care what the IAA gets up to. I don't work for the IAA anymore. but it's very foolish. The left hand there doesn't know what the right hand is doing."