YOU ARE HERE:>>REAL or FAKE>>Is this a genuine piece, section 3


This extremely rare piece featured in the "what is this" section a few months ago. Was sent to me by swordfish, to have a look at.

It's a fragmentary figurine from the Royal Graves at Marlik.

These almost never appear on the antiquities market, so it was a really rare find.


If you look you will see something just slightly different on the back view of the pic  here, compared with the pics in the other section





Doing the simple water test interestingly reveals a marked difference between the fron  and the back.

The serial pics below are at the same time intervals.

(By the way, it does smell right)



I was really sure that this was a genuine piece!

It had also been seen by Dr Jerome Eisenberg and by somone at the Metroplitan Museum.  Neither  doubted it.


But, in the cause of learning  ....................


I have the two volume Marlik: The Complete Excavation Report by Ezat O. Negahban.


It refers to these figurines as "pottery" and one assumes  they mean fired clay, not sun-baked clay.

This piece does not look as if it's been in a fire more recently.

That would set the TL clock again.


Interesting, no?


Why does (the front at least), adsorb water  just like ancient fired clay does?


Why does it smell just right??


We do know from the excavation report that most of these figurines were discovered in fragmentary form and that they were repaired  and  "restored".


Was the back of this piece restored?

They wouldn't then re-fire the pice surely!


Well, on  visual inspection it does not look at all like it has been restored.


These are the "earliest" photos of these figurines; taken at the archaeological site itself.

It was not unusual for pieces  to be repaired and restored on site.

But alas  these photos from the excavation report do not tell us much about how they were restored.


Let's take it a step further.


New clay often and new paint usually fluoresceses more brightly than genuinely ancent pottery  and paint.


The next step, being somewhat limited in materials to use, I will be examing this piece alongside another  which I do not convincingly know is genuine.

Though  insofar as the water test goes, we do need to remember that both  it's validity and it's specificity are low.

See here for more about the water test.

Keep tuned to this station :o)



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