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20th April '10


I have managed to borrow  one of those which appeared on Ebay a while back.  It reappeared on an auction website 3 years later.



First of all, while the head does appear to be made of a white steatite, the  body is not chlorite. It is a very dark greenish grey stone  of a Moh hardness of 5.


In fact quite a number of fake so called Bactrian chlorite artefacts are not made in chlorite, but apatite, as this one is made from.

Green chlorite is a much softer stone and has an easily testable Moh hardness of 2.0 - 2.5


Chlorite left, apatite right.


It's very easy to test the hardnes of  minerals and stones.

Get one of these simple Moh hardness testing kits.



Well, what if this particular one was genuine and was made of apatite rather than chlorite?


Let's take a closer look.

First of all the stone was damaged prior to being  fashioned into the  body of the figurine.

Is it likely that a damaged piece of stone would  have been thought suitable for the image of a god???

Look at the crack.




Many of the scratches on it which are surface smoothing scratches and not the random tiny scratches of general wear and tear, run right over the crack.


The incised lines do so similarly.



There is a lump knocked out of the back.



The smoothing marks go right over the edge of the damage and into the hole!

This face was smoothed after it was damaged not vice versa.




And in addition to the smoothing marks, what about the incision tool marks? >>>>next