YOU ARE HERE: >>REAL or FAKE>>Eye Idols of Tell Brak
These are from the Louvre in Paris.
These are the four examples at the Fitzwilliam Museum
Group picture showing range of variation in "eye idols"/"spectacle figurines" from Late Chalcolithic phases B1 and B2. Note that these figurines first appear at Hacinebi BEFORE the period of intensive contact with Uruk Mesopotamia, and then continue.
(Stein 1998: fig. 12)
These have been on offer by knowlegeable dealers.
Here is a further selection on offer online at time of doing this page. Some of these are undoubtedly forgeries.
And of the other type....
Some of these also, definitely fakes.
Can't keep up with the flood on eBay!
These are from sellers whom have sold obvious fakes before.
A rather different form is a bell shaped marble idol, with drilled-through eyes like these imediately above. This form has been found at a number of sites in northern Mesopotamia, particularly in other parts of Syria, though not at Tell Brak.
And yet another with something on the head..........from the same seller as several other highly suspect ones.
Yet another from the same seller!
The similarity is really striking.
Someone has today asked me whether the examples sold by a few dealers he has idedntified from the pics, are genuine.
Well, one, on sale by a reputable dealer looks much too sharp and the adherent dirt looks artificial.
A tall black three dimensional one supposedly from a known collection looks good. Trouble is, the dealer is listing incontravertible forgeries. So, one is left wondering.
These pages are far from finished
More info on the way.
Including a very close look at one I have.
Paul, who contributed the article on the previous page, was really hoping to have something further of usefulness to say, having posed a number of questions along with examples of types, to the folk at the BM. But no reponse!
Which is rather odd.
Hope to have some news soon.
11th November 2005
A veritable flood!
This one is very wrong.
Bevelled edges and are those file marks or is it the grain in the stone?
I wonder how many Eye Idols have been found in the Eye Temple?
Here's yet another one.
July 14th 2006
Thanks to Bob for drawing this to my attention.
This is from:
The object shown here, made of terracotta and coming from Tell Kashkashuk (ca. 2800 B.C.) in modern Syria, would have been used to make cord out of separate threads of wool or linen. The cord-maker would have spun the threads with a spindle and passed one strand through each of the object's "eyes," twisting them together to produce a stronger thread. (Similar objects have been found with three holes, thus allowing three separate strands to be wound together.)
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