By: Ankita Kulkarni
February 20 2023
A series of photoshopped images submitted in a contest have been used to falsely claim they are the skeleton of the biblical figure Goliath.
A video circulating on Facebook claims that archaeologists have discovered the head of Goliath, a character in the Bible. The narrator says, "In the Bible, David killed a giant called Goliath. And he did this by swinging a stone on his forehead. Archaeologists have found the head of Goliath. Watch this." The video contains a series of images of giant human skulls that seem to have been found after excavation.
However, photoshopped images have been misinterpreted to be real.
Through a reverse image search, we found that the pictures were photoshopped and created for a contest. These have been circulating on social media since 2018 with different falsified claims.
The first image in the video shows two men exhuming a giant skull. This image was traced back to the website DesignCrowd. The photo description notes that it was created by "blackbook," an American designer, on October 26, 2008, for DesignCrowd Community Contests - PS Bonus Contest: Archaeological Anomalies 12.
The second image shows a skeleton with a small funeral jug by its side. We can find a similar picture in the Deutsche Welle (DW) report, which noted that it was found in 2016 in Ashkelon when archaeologists uncovered a Philistine cemetery in Israel. The discoveries included 3,000-year-old bones, 145 skeletons, and artifacts. However, none of them were unusually large, as the Biblical character Goliath's would have been, if he had existed, which itself is a topic of much debate among historians.
The third picture includes a screenshot of an article showing a wounded skull. We found that it is from a tabloid called "Weekly World News." The edition available on Google books dates back to June 1, 1993. A 30-year-old article includes a series of stories narrating fictional discoveries. The text on the cover page reads, "Goliath skull found in Holy land,” and the text printed above the image of the skull reads, "Stone form David Slingshot still stuck in giant's forehead." The narrative in this article also matches the one being purported in the current viral reel. The full report on page four attributes the discoveries to a fictional archaeologist named Dr. Richard Martin and states that the skull was found in the valleys of Jerusalem. When we checked the credibility of the tabloid, we found a report by USA Today that noted that the publication was known for unverified, sensationalist, or false stories.
The fourth image seen in the video shows two men beside a giant skull, with one posing for a photograph with a shovel. The same image is also available on DesignCrowd, which was designed by "mzpresto," a British designer, on October 23, 2008, for the project PS Bonus Contest: Archaeological Anomalies 12.
Logically has previously debunked images and posts that claim that giants used to exist.
The images used in the Facebook video are digitally edited images. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.