We respond to Hani E. Elsayed-Ali's critique according to which silver-copper alloys produced in the Southern Levant during the Late Bronze Age III (∼1200‒1150 BCE) do not constitute forgery, as we proposed. We argue that the technical analyses of weight and reflectance suggested by Elsayed-Ali are not reliable stand-alone means for the identification of forgery in silver-copper-(arsenic) alloys, and that deliberateness, rather than identifiability should be used to tell apart debasement from forgery. We stand behind our original claim, that the addition of arsenic, and the use of silver coatings of copper cores are evidence of deliberate, standardized forgery.
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We wish to thank Hani E. Elsayed-Ali for his fresh look at the subject of silver forgery and forgery in general. We thank Yitzchak Jaffe from the University of Haifa for some of the theoretical references. We also thank the editors of JAS who provided us with the opportunity to respond to Elsayed-Ali's comment, and the anonymous reviewers for the helpful remarks.
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