@Thevillageatheist. This is the article I read—“Brother of Jesus” Inscription Is Authentic!. But it is basically an over-excited op-ed piece, full of hyperbole, lots of sinister conspiracies, and very little science, So it may not be the one you are thinking of. Shanks does give an awkward and fumbling summary of a statistical analysis, but not one that determined the probability that the ossuary belonged to James. It determined the probability of there being more than one wealthy literate “James brother of Jesus” being buried near Jerusalem from 6 to 70 AD.
Also palaeographers are not archaeologists. Certainly not the ones Shanks cites. Scientific techniques can be applied in palaeography (e.g., ink manufacture), but judging “shape and stance “of letters is not science. That doesn’t make it wrong, but it’s more like art history and connoisseurship. But I am perfectly happy to accept their judgment without any intersubjective evidence in this case. They are, after all, “world class” .
Out of context artifacts are crap evidence—that is just a basic tenet of archaeology, whether you take issue with it or not. And archaeologists very rarely authenticate unprovenanced artifacts, especially if they are on the market. There are ethical issues. Biblical archaeology is a world unto itself, but I don’t think they are that far gone. The people you are thinking of are probably art historians. As for Carter, using looted artifacts to locate unlooted sites is perfectly valid. If you think about it, the historical value of Tutankhamen’s tomb lies in the fact that everything is in context (i.e., has a provenance).
You are also confusing provenance with authenticity. It doesn’t matter if the ossuary is authentic or not. Yes, we’d know for sure it was authentic if it was provenanced, and could move on to interesting questions, instead of inanities. But it was looted, so we are stuck with in-depth discussions of writing-style, patina, and whose expert is more “world class”. And in the end, its authenticity doesn’t matter from a scholarly point of view—it is out of context, and therefore has very little, if anything, to tell us. However its ideological and market value will certainly improve.