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The Berlin Nefertiti bust is FAKE!
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELISE, I stand firm in my comment above concerning the busts removal to Germany. In his own memoirs, Borchard tells of purposely leaving the bust uncleaned, and covering it with a mixture of mud and plaster, to make Egyptian officials think it was "nothing special", and, thereby, giving it to the expedition.
If the bust IS a fake, he certainly went to all sorts of effort to fake his entries into his day-by-day journal, commenting on the discovery of the workshop, the so called masks, and, in particular, the bust.
Remembering how much Hitler admired the bust, and swore it would "never leave Germany" I admit that a second may have been made on his orders, and the original secreted away someplace, but I still think that the bust is original, found during the German expedition to Amarna.
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burlgirl
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Yes, but... Reply with quote

How does the recent CT study on the bust impact this discussion? I admit I should have read this study already, but have been sidetracked woefully. From what I've read though, the CT seems support the idea of the bust being the orginal and not faked.

I really have to find time tonight to read it!
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ELISE
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
In his own memoirs, Borchard tells of purposely leaving the bust uncleaned, and covering it with a mixture of mud and plaster, to make Egyptian officials think it was "nothing special", and, thereby, giving it to the expedition.


I haven't read the memoirs, but if that is the case, then yes, it would make the claims about lack of provenance of the find very unconvincing.

My general point was that people make suppositions or read others suppositions, (the eye being a classic case), then re-iterate those suppositions as if they were fact, and then on top of that, use those 'facts' to support an argument for or against the origin of an item. No one knows whether the Nefertiti bust was uncompleted (i.e only ever had one eye), had both eyes but one fell out, was never meant to have an eye because it was some sort of educational tool for other artists, was never meant to have an eye because Nefertiti had cataracts etc etc etc. Yet even on here, we have people stating it was an artists model as if this has been solidly proven, and then claiming that proves it must be ancient.

I don't think the bust is likely to be a fake - I'm just trying to point out that some of the discussion on the subject is quite inane.
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Neferseshat
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's like the statues of Rahotep and Neferet of OK, things that look too good to be true.
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELISE wrote:
My general point was that people make suppositions or read others suppositions, (the eye being a classic case), then re-iterate those suppositions as if they were fact, and then on top of that, use those 'facts' to support an argument for or against the origin of an item.


ELISE wrote:
I'm just trying to point out that some of the discussion on the subject is quite inane.


Right on, Elise. Both comments are absolutely true. Trying to track down the original source of what have come to be accepted as 'truths' is extremely difficult and often impossible.

At the present time we must say that the idea (I will not call it a theory) that the bust is a fake is completely unproven.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELISE wrote:
My general point was that people make suppositions or read others suppositions, (the eye being a classic case), then re-iterate those suppositions as if they were fact, and then on top of that, use those 'facts' to support an argument for or against the origin of an item. No one knows whether the Nefertiti bust was uncompleted (i.e only ever had one eye), had both eyes but one fell out, was never meant to have an eye because it was some sort of educational tool for other artists, was never meant to have an eye because Nefertiti had cataracts etc etc etc. Yet even on here, we have people stating it was an artists model as if this has been solidly proven, and then claiming that proves it must be ancient.

I don't think the bust is likely to be a fake - I'm just trying to point out that some of the discussion on the subject is quite inane.


The problem is that there is evidence the bust was incomplete (not simply because of the eye, BTW), and there is soldily researched evidence there was never an eye inlaid into the left socket (on this, see Arnold 1996: 65-69).

Here, we're not talking about simple opinion or rough visual examination of the bust, we're talking about a detailed examination and analysis of the eye socket for any residue of materials which would have held an inlay. Nothing was found, and Arnold notes that its lack was also standard for a sculptor leave behind in his workshop (where the bust was found, after all), to instruct other sculptors on how the image of the queen was to be made and how to make the eye sockets for an inlay.

Further, it's not like this bust is the only definitive image we have of Nefertiti in the round. This unfinished limestone head, now in Berlin, shows a great deal of similarity to the Nefertiti bust:





Berlin 21352 (Fig. 61)

Additionally, you have similar imagery of Nefertiti in relief form in this trial piece from the same period, showing Nefertiti in the same pose and with similar features as the bust:



Cairo JE 59296 (Fig. 62)

As Dorothea Arnold noted about these two pieces, in comparison to the painted bust of Nefertiti (here referred to as Fig. 60):

Despite its unfinished condition, the head (fig. 61) shows the sure hand of a master sculptor who, in creating the face of Nefertiti, still followed to a large extent the earlier conventions of Amarna art. This is attested to by the overlong neck with its prominently marked frontal tendons; the large and fleshy mouth whose corners are set into deep, angularly carved furrows; and the typical vertical ridges that separate the front parts of the cheeks from their sides. All these features are well known from the sculptures and reliefs of the early Amarna years. The unfinished limestone head, however, has the eyes and the straight jaw of the later style. We have here a version of the queen's image that must have been carved during the earliest stage of the Thutmose compound, just before the definitive version of the queen's image was incorporated in the painted bust. Perhaps the sculptor also intended to cover this image with a layer of gypsum plaster.

<...>


A limestone slab that had been thrown into the foundation trench of a wall was found in the sanctuary of the Great Aten Temple. The rectangular piece (fig. 62) has the fairly regular shape common to relief models. The master sculptor carved an image, and his assistants then followed the model in carving temple and tomb wall reliefs. This particular slab shows a kneeling figure (not illustrated here) on one side, and the head, neck, and shoulders of Nefertiti on the other.

The composition of the queen's image on the slab matches the painted bust from the Thutmose workshop (fig. 60) as closely as could be expected. The only important iconographical difference is the inclusion of two cobras at the upper edge of the band around the queen's crown, one raising its hood and head at the center of the crown, the other hanging down in front of Nefertiti's ear, with its menacing eye just beside hers. In relief, this cobra-encircled head of Nefertiti is remarkably similar to her head on the family shrine stela in Berlin. Since the rather large, slightly open mouth and the large ear are on both the stela and the slab, the two works must have been made at about the same time—just before the change in the names of the Aten during Years 8-12. The shrine stela is inscribed with the earlier versions of the Aten's names .

The similarities between the relief slab and the painted bust of Nefertiti are striking. The outline of the oblique neck and square jaw, the forward thrust of the face, and the distinctive curve at the back combine to make the relief an almost exact two-dimensional version of the bust. True, the relief slab was evidently created earlier than the bust, and its exact counterpart may actually be the limestone head from the workshop (fig. 61). But the slab forms an important link between the Thutmose workshop and the relief sculptors who decorated the Great Aten Temple and, possibly, carved the shrine stelae.
(Arnold 1996: 70)

So, I don't see how Stierlin can claim there's no evidence the bust was not related to actual ancient artistic representations of Nefertiti. Beyond this, you have a number of gypsum "mould casts" made after clay sculptures of the royal household. These moulds were then refined before rendering into stone, such as this one, below, which closely resembles the CT scan of the core image within the Nefertiti bust, as reported in Scientific American in April of this year:



Berlin Museum (no inventory number available) (Fig. 39)

Again, as Arnold notes:

Among the limestone sculptures found in Thutmose's little room, a case might be made that the famous painted bust of the queen (fig. 58 ) was based on the gypsum plaster model (fig. 39). The rounded lips of the cast might have been altered to become the austere lips of the bust. There is, however, a great difference in the upper eyelids, which are remarkably short and concave, but large, heavy and convex in the bust. In the final analysis, the similarities are only what one might expect in two different images of the same person. (Arnold 1996: 49)

So, to me, there's ample evidence the Nefertiti bust is the work of a single sculptor's style, and that is the style of the master sculptor, Thutmose during the Amarna period. Further, I have seen arguments on other lists which note that the "square cut" of the shoulders is also replicated on other busts in ancient Egyptian art, such that its presence is not a significant indicator of "modern" construction.

Reference:

Arnold, D. 1996. The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art/Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

HTH.
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just curious, from (figure 62) above. Is there the hint of an adam's apple? or is it just wear and tear? - if deliberate, why carve it?

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Neferseshat
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
Just curious, from (figure 62) above. Is there the hint of an adam's apple? or is it just wear and tear? - if deliberate, why carve it?


I think it's probably just showing the wrinkles of her neck!
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELISE wrote:
Osiris II wrote:

It was carefully covered with mud, to make it more unattractive, in order for it to be given to the expedition.


... to explain how the bust was overlooked by the Egyptians ...


By the way "... the Egyptians ..." was one single French guy : Gustave Lefebvre (inspector for Middle Egypt ; an expert for inscriptions and papyrus research) was send by Gaston Maspero to handle the find division for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo ...

Greetings,

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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although Maspero sent the Cairo Museum Inspector for the Amarna area (Lefebrve) to the area in general capacity, the Ottoman Empire, rulers of Egypt at that time, also had a person in charge of the division of finds.
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
Although Maspero sent the Cairo Museum Inspector for the Amarna area (Lefebrve) to the area in general capacity, the Ottoman Empire, rulers of Egypt at that time, also had a person in charge of the division of finds.

Possible ... Do you know his name or which part of the finds, divided by Ludwig Borchardt, he selected for Egypt? Was he locally at all or did he spend his "bakschisch" somewhere else?

So much to this ...

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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the Museum authorities and Borchard split the finds 50-50, at the suggestion of the Ottoman representative.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
Just curious, from (figure 62) above. Is there the hint of an adam's apple? or is it just wear and tear? - if deliberate, why carve it?


it's to represent that she is wealthy and well fed. fat necks were a sign that you didn't have to work for your food. that's why people in the ancient world thought fatter people were better.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol interesting Very Happy
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
I understand the Museum authorities and Borchard split the finds 50-50, at the suggestion of the Ottoman representative.

The excavation contract gave the right of find division to Borchardt. The representative of the Egyptian museum Cairo, thus Lefebvre, decided which part remained in the country … Lutz
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