Go to the Egyptian Dreams shop
Egyptian Dreams
Ancient Egypt Discussion Board
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Amarna Controversy
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Evidence from Amarna
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ghobbit
Citizen
Citizen


Joined: 11 Jan 2005
Posts: 28
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:14 pm    Post subject: Amarna Controversy Reply with quote

Hi

I dont know if this has been discussed before although I couldnt find anything on searching but does anyone know anything about the Amarna Controversy - that is the sculptures etc held by the Mansoor's?

I came across these websites by chance and became quite intrigued by them

http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/

http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/scandal/

It seems that there are many believers as well as a few disbelievers with much 'scientific evidence' that these objects are genuine. I've had a look at some of the photos and the items are quite stiking but as the website says you cant tell too much from photos about authenticity. It says they have much evidence from analyses from various sources saying they're in fact authentic whilst there has been only a couple of sources saying they're not.



ghobbit
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit I am not familiar with the Monsoor collection, but thanks to your links I was able to peruse some of their pieces. Most of what I saw looks quite typical of the Amarna period, though for some reason this bust of Nefertiti strikes me as a bit odd (I'm not sure why, it just does).

One thing's for sure: those of us sitting around on an internet forum and gazing at web photos are not going to solve the mystery. If respected art historians and various other scholars have reason to question the authenticity of the collection, there must be something there.

A quote from one of the web pages whose link you provided, ghobbit:

Quote:
The author points out that they wouldn't have wasted their time and energy on that fight if they weren't absolutely sure of the authenticity of their sculptures.


This is not necessarily true. History is replete with brilliant people who went to tremendous lengths (and sometimes even expense) to fool the rest of us, just for the sake of fooling the rest of us. At our museum's Egyptian exhibit we have one modest-sized display case whose plaque tells you "This case is filled with fakes." Some of the pieces are quite obviously frauds, but most of them are expertly done, and I challenge all but the most serious of art historians to tell the difference by just viewing them.

All of us here have probably heard of the great fuss in Israel over the recent discovery of the so-called "James ossuary." This is the stone box with the inscription "Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua" ("James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus") that many still believe once contained the bones of the brother of Jesus Christ. It was brought to public attention by its owner, Oded Golan. Well, even more recently a fascinating inscribed tablet emerged with possibly great significance to Biblical history, until authorities in Israel traced its modern provenance to...you guessed it...Oded Golan. Israeli authorities raided his apartment and found all of the tools and materials necessary for the preparation of elaborate and convincing fakes. Both the ossuary and the inscribed tablet are probably frauds for certain.

And of course there is the famous Piltdown man of Great Britain. His creator has never been conclusively established, and that alone tells you that someone around 1908 went to considerable effort to carry out this hoax without any thought of personal or financial gain.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
anneke
Queen of Egypt
Queen of Egypt


Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 9305

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had heard of the Mansoor collection before. All I really know is that it is controversial. Some think that at least some of the items are fake. Some of the pieces (like the one kmt_sesh showed) just looks a bit funny. I think the bottom half of the face is a little strange. The chin is a little too pointy, and the woman looks like she's smirking.

I guess there must be a problem with the history of the pieces. A good collector usually tries to find some history. Like when it was found, where it was bought, in whose hands it has been etc. Likely this information is missing otherwise there would not be such a mystery.

It really is difficult to find information besides the sites you mentioned and those are not exactly unbiased.
_________________
Math and Art: http://mathematicsaroundus.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Arrhidaeus
Citizen
Citizen


Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Posts: 65
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago, a friend gave me a beautiful plaster copy of a wall relief, representing Queen Nefertete, wife of Akhenaten.

Because I could not find any information about the original, I wrote to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Kopenhagen where the original was, like it was noted on the back of the copy.

I received a letter from the curator, saying that the original relief was a fake acquired in 1926 and that plaster copies of it were still in production until around 1960, thinking the wall relief was indeed genuine.

I think forgeries are as old as the money people have given for them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
anneke
Queen of Egypt
Queen of Egypt


Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 9305

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seem to be some egyptologists who believe that at least part of the Mansoor collection may be authentic though.
I have not read the material on the website (just glanced at it) but it sounded to me as though Iskander may have believed (at least some of) the pieces to be authentic.

It's hard to say. The Amarna period is very popular, so I could see someone trying to forge some pieces.
_________________
Math and Art: http://mathematicsaroundus.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think few regions of antiquity have fallen victim to fraudulent artwork more than the Middle East, and perhaps particularly Egypt. We've all heard the stories of unscrupulous folks "manufacturing" mummies from the recently dead in the 19th Century in order to sell them to wealthy Westerners. I mentioned in my previous post the display case we have in our exhibit that shows fakes, some of them expertly done. I think in many cases these fraud artists are successful in their trade, and only later, with more modern technology and a better understanding of the ancient past, do more informed people come along to reveal the fakes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ghobbit
Citizen
Citizen


Joined: 11 Jan 2005
Posts: 28
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did read on the websites I listed that not only do several well known Egyptologists beleive them to be real having actually handeled them but also chemical and geological analysis also supports that the stone is of antiquity.

Having said that though I notice that most if not all the items are stone relief work of some description and a forger could quite easily get hold of that kind of material. What would be better would be something that had paint on it so that the paint could be analysed which would probably be of more use date wise.

Not having the knowledge to know one way or the other I do have to say that when I first looked at the items on the website (in fact the one Anneke pointed out above) there was something which I immediately thought was wrong and didnt sit well. I cant say what it is but something but then it could well be right and who am I to say and the authors rightly say their detractors and apparantly there are only a few are those who have only looked at photos and havent actually handled the items.


If they are forgeries then they've fooled a lot of the experts both scholarly and scientific but as kmt_sesh points out so did Piltdown Man!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
anneke
Queen of Egypt
Queen of Egypt


Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 9305

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The face of Nefertiti we all find suspicious really reminds me of a statue-head of her in Berlin. They have recently discovered more of the statue and started to reconstruct what it looked like.
You can click here to see a copy of the reconstructed statue as well as a close up of that face.

It seems clear to me that the Mansoor head is either a copy of this head, or if it is an original, then it must have belonged to a similar large statue.
_________________
Math and Art: http://mathematicsaroundus.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ghobbit wrote:
...I notice that most if not all the items are stone relief work of some description and a forger could quite easily get hold of that kind of material. What would be better would be something that had paint on it so that the paint could be analysed which would probably be of more use date wise.


It is exactly the most export forgers who use period materials to fool everyone. In my original response, ghobbit, I talked about the infamous "ossuary of James," which is almost certainly a forgery as recent circumstances have shown. Most likely the stone ossuary itself is authentic; it is exactly the sort of stone box used for the placement of bones in ancient Israel. In fact, it's even possible the first part of the inscription is authentic ("Ya'akov bar Yosef" = "James, son of Joseph"), as both "Ya'akov" and "Yosef" were (and still are) very common Judaic names. But many scholars have from the start contested the authenticity of the second part of the inscription ("akhui di Yeshua" = "brother of Jesus"), whose patina and script seem different from the first.

So what we have here is probably an authentic ossuary with perhaps a bit of authentic inscription to which Mr. Oded Golan added the rest of the text. This is a very common practice among those who perpetrate art fraud. You start with the real thing and make it more spectacularly historical. And this sort of thing has happened countless times with Egyptian antiquities.

As they say, buyer beware! Surprised
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Osiris II
Vizier
Vizier


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 1752

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second part of the insription on the ossuary has been shown to be a later addition. Because he has been dealing in "antiquties" for many years, the Israei government has brought a law-suit charging Mr. Golan with"fraudulent activities for profit".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The second part of the insription on the ossuary has been shown to be a later addition


That's what I've always thought--not because I'm some expert art historian who can decipher the different hands of ancient Judaic script, but because all along it simply seemed too good to be true. And when you come upon something that seems too good to be true, more often than not you can figure that it is (too good to be true, that is).

Nevertheless, the handiwork of Golan won a great many believers, and many of those believers were experts in ancient Judaic history and art history. The troubling thing is, even after what the authorities found in Golan's apartment, and in spite of the damning and overwhelming evidence, many if not most of these believers will go on believing.

It's both silly and sad. Confused
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
anneke
Queen of Egypt
Queen of Egypt


Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 9305

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any examples of "finds from ancient egypt" that turned out to be frauds? (besides possibly some of these Mansoor pieces)

I know that there are fakes produced in Egypt, but I can't remember any scandals attached to great finds that later on turned out to be great productions.
_________________
Math and Art: http://mathematicsaroundus.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Osiris II
Vizier
Vizier


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 1752

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's no an absolute yet, but the statue of Princess Teti-sheri is now thought to be a fake.
Also, the statue of Rahotep and his wife is under close examination now. It's biggest fault is is perfection. Those who question its authenticity comment that it is just in too perfect a condition for a statue some 3500 years old.
And then tere is the numerous fakes passed off on tourists--scarabs, ushabti figures, beads, etc.--the list just goes on and on.
To own a museum reproduction is great, but too many items are passed off as the "real thing".
The Mansoor collection is a big question. I have looked at all the photographs closely, and in my opinion--and only a personal opinion--they seem to be fakes. There's just something about them that does not seem real--the perspective seems a bit off, the expressions too extreme, the features not quite "right".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There's just something about them that does not seem real--the perspective seems a bit off, the expressions too extreme, the features not quite "right".


Well, that's often just the sort of thing that first attracts the attention of these art historians who discover great relics to be fakes. Perhaps there is a lot of wisdom to the old cliché: first impressions are everything.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Osiris II
Vizier
Vizier


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 1752

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then there's the other extreme. I just looked at a web-site that, at first glance, seemed to confirm the belief that the statues of Teti-sheri and Rahotep and his wife, Nofret, were fakes. But on closer examination, the article was a ranting and raving of a person who was trying to prove the "hidden agenda" amongst whites to dismiss all claims of blackness in Egyptian art. It seems that when Teti-sheri was accepted as real, it was an example of supreme black art (?).
Rahotep and Nofret were an example of fakes created by whites to show that there was no black art in the Old Kingdom!
Go figure...
So I guess the jury is still out on deciding whether these are real or fake.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Evidence from Amarna All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group