What with all this shilly-shallying among the experts – who can’t even agree on whether this find is authentic, never mind its dating – it’s now perfectly obvious that the only way to resolve this critical issue is to subject the finds themselves to rigorous scientific testing. The Siamese received organic material from inside the Piprahwa coffer in 1898 – bones, sandalwood pieces, and ‘dark dust’ – and though the bones might present a problem to the faithful, there can be no objection to carbon-dating the other stuff. Likewise the terracotta ‘sealings’ from the 1973 claims, which should be subjected to thermoluminescence testing to reveal when they were fired. Otherwise it’s just ‘he says she says’, and a century of that has led us nowhere. Test the stuff, and settle the matter once and for all.