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Nefertiti
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Lexikon der Ägyptologie - Band VI". - Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1986. - Robert Fuchs : Stuck. - Col. 88 - 91 :



Translation of the first sentence from Col. 88 :

"Stucco is mixed depending on the use of a mixture of different parts of gypsum, lime, sand (quartz) and water, with the addition of a binder (resins, glue, wax). ..."

The same applies to the processing of the color pigments.

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khazarkhum
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
"Lexikon der Ägyptologie - Band VI". - Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1986. - Robert Fuchs : Stuck. - Col. 88 - 91 :



Translation of the first sentence from Col. 88 :

"Stucco is mixed depending on the use of a mixture of different parts of gypsum, lime, sand (quartz) and water, with the addition of a binder (resins, glue, wax). ..."

The same applies to the processing of the color pigments.

Lutz


But the bust was coated in plaster.

The amount in pigments is very small. Otherwise, C14 would be used extensively in cave paintings.

And I see you still haven't been able to discover any other Egyptian bust with vertically cut shoulders.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khazarkhum wrote:
But the bust was coated in plaster. ...

No, it is stucco, which in ancient Egypt in such cases (statues) and also for Nofretete was used (read for that the whole article in "LÄ VI"). Plaster or gypsum (do not really know what in English the different is between the two words) is used today for making the modern replicas in the workshops of the Berlin Museum. And even here there are no sterile laboratory conditions and there are logically admixtures / soils with organic material. But that's beside the point...

khazarkhum wrote:
... The amount in pigments is very small. Otherwise, C14 would be used extensively in cave paintings. ...

Mischief. The content of organic matter in the mixed colors of cave paintings is probably not hardly compare to that of the Amarna period (but AFAIK C14 is here also possible, at least in some cases).

khazarkhum wrote:
... And I see you still haven't been able to discover any other Egyptian bust with vertically cut shoulders.

I am not active diging in Egypt. So I can not find another sculpture workshop with another model bust, their shape and appearance of course their intended purpose follows.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khazarkhum wrote:
And I see you still haven't been able to discover any other Egyptian bust with vertically cut shoulders.


we are discussing the amarna period. this is the time in history when 'anything goes'......i fail to see why something unusual like the bust of nefertiti is branded a 'fake' simply because it is unique. if it dated from any other period in egyptian history you may have a case. but this is the amarna period, rules don't apply to that period.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First it was that the vertical elements were unique in all of Ancient Egypt (but Neseret showed that to be incorrect), then it was the paint (which has been proven to be ancient, in which case it cannot have been tampered with), then it was the state of preservation (which, while remarkable is not unique), and now it is the shoulders.

But, one sees what one wants to see. This works both ways so one must try to be impartial to the outcome that objective evidence points toward.

"You can prove a fake, but you can't prove originals. That's an epistemological problem." ~ Stefan Simon, director of the Rathgen Research Laboratory and the man in charge of the lab doing all the modern testing on the bust of Nefertiti. Science cannot prove something to be right/true/authentic - it can only prove that a thing is NOT right/true/authentic. A theory is something that has been proven, through repeated testing, to be not wrong. My husband is an astrophysicist so I hear this all the time and it is this same method that is applied to the authenticity of an object of art. Without seeing the artist create the object or finding it in an intact tomb one cannot say beyond all shadow of a doubt that an object is authentic - but one can add up the evidence and calculate the odds, which is all that ever happens with any ancient object. No ancient object can get beyond this (even the Lascaux cave paintings were/are thought to be fake by some). In other words, if the evidence, both circumstantial and scientific, is highly in favor of an object being ancient then we generally accept it to be ancient.

With that in mind the evidence can be weighed. On one hand we have the findings of a very reputable lab that has revealed a number of fake objects in the past. This lab has shared unanalyzed, raw data with scientists outside of it's preview for the purpose of independent papers and analysis, so I think we can safely say that the lab is ethical and conscientious. This lab has found the paint to be ancient, the stucco to be ancient and the method of constriction to be ancient. On the other hand we have a small group of reasonably respectable art historians who feel that the bust must be fake because of circumstantial evidence.

I suppose one can be subjective and say one prefers the circumstantial evidence but unless something new comes to light, looking at the situation objectively, the science is behind the bust being authentic.

This from a different article interviewing Stefan Simon; "The sculpture is composed of the so-called Amarna-mix, a blend of gypsum anhydride plaster applied on top of a limestone base. The material is named after Tel el-Amarna, a small city in central Egypt founded by Pharaoh Akhenaton in the 14th century B.C. That is also where the bust of his queen would be found in 1912.

"This special blend was unknown before 1912," said Simon says, which would mean that Borchardt and his contemporaries could not have known its exact composition. Currently, researchers are comparing material used in the Nefertiti bust with that utilized in statues of her husband, Akhenaton, and other artifacts from the Amarna period. " Calling the Queen's Authenticity into Question, By Christoph Seidle

I would be curious to know if there has been anything published on that comparison Dr. Simon mentions. Also, I'd be very curious to read any published science that shows the bust to be fake.

Below is a small sampling of the science done on the bust to date:

THE BUST OF NEFERTITI
***. Chem., 1982, 54 (4), pp 619A–628A
DOI: 10.1021/ac00241a790
Publication Date: April 1982
Copyright © 1982 American Chemical Society



Nondestructive Insights into Composition of the Sculpture of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti with CT and the dependence of object surface from image processing
Bernhard Illerhaus, Andreas Staude, Dietmar Meinel
BAM Bundesanatalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung, Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany, E-mail: bernhard.illerhaus@bam.de, andreas.staude@bam.de, dietmar.meinel@bam.de Fon: +49 30 8104 5614

of interest from the above (no copyright infringement intended) ~ "The zeroth fundamental theorem of computed tomography is: what ever you do to your data, there will always be an image. In other words: There is definitely no second face. There are three possible surfaces, the painted face as we see it, a painting ground and the stone. The given spatial and density resolution does not allow to distinguish between these."

and ~ "Another interesting application is the stucco to the shoulders: This was done onto a defined limited area. In the neck the plaster is sharply limited by the stone which forms a step at this point. Yet the outer surface in the painted area of the braid is stone, not stucco."

So the highly debated shoulders would seem to be of stone, which I believe is one thing everyone agrees is authentic.
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khazarkhum
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ankhetmaatre wrote:
First it was that the vertical elements were unique in all of Ancient Egypt (but Neseret showed that to be incorrect), then it was the paint (which has been proven to be ancient, in which case it cannot have been tampered with), then it was the state of preservation (which, while remarkable is not unique), and now it is the shoulders.


It's clear you want a simple proof.

Proof in Art History, law, science and many other endeavors involves a cumulative effect.

We have a bust, in a style not only unknown from any other time in Egypt, but unique in its own period. It has vertically-cut shoulders, unique in Egypt before the Late Period. It has an almost-intact painted surface, again virtually unknown in Ancient Egypt. There is a layer of plaster over a limestone core. The painted surface has elements that are extremely rare in Egyptian art.

That is what I have presented.

To which the response is: There is a CT scan that shows a limestone core.

I have asked to see the C14 tests, which apparently do not exist.

I have asked for other examples of nearly intact paint, to which the response has been silence.

Finally, I have asked for any other example of a bust with vertically-cut shoulders from the NK. The response has been somewhat underwhelming.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the workshop of Thutmose is the only one ever found, or the only one with unfinished work still inside. Do we know 100% exactly what processes the mastercraftsmen went through to produce such pieces?. This is an unfinished piece, and maybe never meant for viewing, so it hardly matters if it doesn't fit with what is expected. Looking at the highest resolution photos I can find, supplied by Lutz in another thread, it seems to me that this bust did not originally have vertically cut shoulders. Looking at the collar, it seems the shoulders have been cut off a more fuller, rounded bust, for reasons we can never know. Look closely at the collar, see if you think the artist has painted up to the cut, or had continued onto a surface now lost.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khazarkhum wrote:
... I have asked to see the C14 tests, which apparently do not exist. ...

The relevant references were given not only by me on several occasions. Find and read you have to do it by yourself ... Although I suspect that it might be in your case a waste of time.

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Ankhetmaatre
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's clear you want a simple proof.


Pardon me, but speaking of logical fallacies, that is a strawman.

I have gone to lengths to discuss this subject from an artistic, archeological and scientific pov, AND offer references and links to support my position. One only has to go upthread and read my comments to see this. What you are doing is employing circular reasoning in the face of a pretty good amount of evidence, both contextual and scientific. You are constantly moving the goal-post, as it were. First it was vertical elements, then paint, now the shoulders, hinging your assertions upon ONE, albeit constantly moving, element. AND assuming that because someone cannot deliver the paper you are looking for that all the rest of the evidence is negligible.

SO FAR, though the bust can never be proven beyond all shadow of a doubt to be authentic, the majority of the evidence indicates that it IS authentic. Meaning that it has not been proven a fake, whatever anyone thinks. Perhaps new evidence will change that. As I said above I am curious about the results of the comparison tests. Maybe Lutz can find something since anything published would probably be in German first.

Oh, and if anyone is interested I found an online pdf of one of the papers written about the CT scan. It takes a few read throughs to figure out the terminology but worth giving a go. I am no radiologist but seems that a number of things may be inferred from this information, one being that the stone of the inner core formed the shoulders, cut as they are, in antiquity. It appears to be a core that was built up using a stucco/plaster mix common in antiquity and painted with a very particular set of ancient pigments. To me this seems like a disproportionate amount of work to put into a necklace stand, though, of course, that is merely my opinion.

; http://www.ndt.net/article/ndtnet/2009/illerhaus.pdf
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a bust of Tutankhamen in the Neues Museum, a full picture of which is in Tyldesley book, Tutankhamen; The Search For An Egyptian King (color plate 13), which has vertical shoulders http://www.flickr.com/photos/menesje/1937454145/in/set-72157603861500944 - as well as this this figurine; http://www.flickr.com/photos/menesje/5902114013/in/set-72157603861500944/
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Want to bet? Fake! Laughing Has the Borchardt excavation occurred at all? Or was it all just staged as the moon landing?

Greetings, Lutz.
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khazarkhum
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ankhetmaatre wrote:
There is a bust of Tutankhamen in the Neues Museum, a full picture of which is in Tyldesley book, Tutankhamen; The Search For An Egyptian King (color plate 13), which has vertical shoulders http://www.flickr.com/photos/menesje/1937454145/in/set-72157603861500944 - as well as this this figurine; http://www.flickr.com/photos/menesje/5902114013/in/set-72157603861500944/


I apologize for being away for a few days; I've been caring for my sister, who is very ill.

If you look at the bust of the young man (he's been described as Smenkhare, Tutankhamun, and even Akhenaten) you can clearly see that the shoulder facing the camera was originally intended to round down to the horizontal plane. It is, however, broken, as is the other shoulder.

Borchardt liked 'experimenting' with art forms. The German expedition--his--found ancient pigments at Amarna, which Borchardt used in some of his 'experiments'.

Similarly, the "Amarna mix" is the local plaster type. It would be used on anything produced in Amarna, whether modern or ancient.

No one sends away for materials where there are some on hand, especially not if the artist wishes to 'experimentally' recreate the ancient processes. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the various "historic villages" where archeologists use obsolete methods to recreate the lifestyle of a particular settlement. Artists often do the same thing, utilizing ancient materials and methods to recreate the past and further enhance our knowledge of ancient techniques.

I will admit it is far simple to ridicule and attack me than it is to actually do serious research. There are many things to look at, many things to read. It can be frustrating and tiring work.

And so I will ask this again of you: Link to the C14 results. Find other examples of vertically-cut shoulders on pieces that are neither broken nor composite, and which date to the NK. locate a statue that was unearthed in an excavation that has paint anywhere near as pristine as the bust.

Saying "it's just Amarna" is fallacious. The way people were represented changed, but the general way in which they were represented did not. The subject matter changed, but not the mannerisms of AE art. Faces were still in profile while bodies were frontal, perspective was hierarchical, and so on.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The photo in Tyldesley's book is very clear and shows the bust of Tutankhamen from the other side. Both shoulders terminate before the apex, like the small figurine I posted a link to above. Though the shoulders are rough, they do not appear to have extended past that point. the bust is in otherwise pretty good condition.

Similarly, the bust you posted a link to in another thread appears to terminate before the apex, though the photos are not completely clear, so it's difficult to be certain.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rymerster/4841326875/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rymerster/4841327309/in/photostream
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Borchardt liked 'experimenting' with art forms. The German expedition--his--found ancient pigments at Amarna, which Borchardt used in some of his 'experiments'.


Do you have a citation for this?

Quote:
Similarly, the "Amarna mix" is the local plaster type. It would be used on anything produced in Amarna, whether modern or ancient.


Again, do you have citation? Because everything I have read on the subject states the opposite and I have cited at least two documents.

Quote:
Saying "it's just Amarna" is fallacious.


Generally I would agree but in this instance it is no more fallacious to intimate that the find at Thutmose's studio is singular and special (because it is) than it is to say that the Nefertiti bust is unique and special (because it is). What you are basically saying is that in a unique find one of the unique pieces must be fake because it is so unique...

Also, I am aware of what sort of processes go into analyzing ancient techniques in painting and sculpture as well as textile art as I have more than one graduate degree in art, art history and conservation. While it's not uncommon for art historians and conservators to "utilizing ancient materials and methods to recreate the past and further enhance our knowledge of ancient techniques" we almost NEVER get it as exact as you claim Borchardt has. And certainly not on the first go or without advanced scientific analysis.

This argument no longer makes sense. Empirical evidence supports the bust being authentic. The bulk of the circumstantial evidence supports the bust being authentic. Unless new evidence comes to light Occam's Razor applies; it is more likely, all things being equal, that the bust is authentic than that Borchardt manufactured the object using a mix of ancient plaster/stucco, the chemical content of which he would have no way of knowing, using ancient pigments, again the chemical content of which he would have no way of knowing, in order to create a necklace stand that future generations would not be able to tell was a fake even after chemical testing and CT scanning.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ankhetmaatre wrote:
The photo in Tyldesley's book is very clear and shows the bust of Tutankhamen from the other side. Both shoulders terminate before the apex, like the small figurine I posted a link to above. Though the shoulders are rough, they do not appear to have extended past that point. the bust is in otherwise pretty good condition.

Similarly, the bust you posted a link to in another thread appears to terminate before the apex, though the photos are not completely clear, so it's difficult to be certain.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rymerster/4841326875/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rymerster/4841327309/in/photostream


This is the unprovenanced "Salt Head". No one knows anything of its history. There is no way to date it, or even to tell if it is ancient.
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