History, alas, cannot be classified as an exact science, although any a true scientist researching the past would have much gave to bring her closer to those. Probably the ultimate dream of every historian – a time machine that would allow visiting past and see how it really was! Unfortunately, such a machine has not been invented. So the subject of the study of history are documents and various objects related probably to one or another era. Why is it likely? Because the quantity fraud is very large, and their level is sometimes so high that even specialists can not immediately recognize them. Here are some such curious cases we want to tell today. Scandal in Germany In Diban (Jordan) in 1868, archaeologists found stone with the inscription on it of the Moabite king Mesha, who lived in the 9th century BC (the Moabites are a Semitic people, occupying territories adjacent to the eastern shore of the Dead seas). The find aroused great interest, and soon in Jerusalem clay figures appeared that were rumored to be found in the same place as “Meshi’s stone.” These figures, decorated with seven dots and long but non-deciphering inscriptions, were also not left without attention. On the advice of some oriental scholars, Prussian the government bought a collection of such figures for the Berlin Museum, having laid out a sum for them at that time very significant – 20,000 thalers. Photo from открытых источников A photo from open sources however French intervened Researcher Charles Clermont-Ganno. He and his colleagues managed to prove that “Moab antiquities” is nothing but fake, finding their author – a Jerusalem artist, Arab Selim. In the air smell of political scandal – after all, the acquisition of these exhibits was supposed to be a manifestation of the cultural activity of Germany on Middle East. German scientists and politicians did their best to refute the conclusions of the Frenchman, but in vain – the evidence was irrefutable. It is not known how it would end if not for the famous historian Theodor Mommsen, who forced the Prussian parliament admit your mistake in making a decision to purchase “antiquities.” The missing manuscript The same Clermont-Ganno exposed and another fake, also associated with the discovery of the “Meshi stone.” Someone D. Shapiro offered the British Museum an “ancient manuscript”, requesting for her no less … a million pounds. However the letters in this manuscript were suspiciously similar to Moab. Despite to this, after close research, the keeper of the manuscript department The British Museum recognized the manuscript as the rarest historical monument, and one of the German scientists even managed to publish own version of the “translation”. But the restless Clermont-Ganno, and this time ended up right there. He stated that Shapiro built his manuscript from scraps of old synagogue scrolls. It’s loud the revelation hit the Times newspaper, after which Shapiro ended by myself. But perhaps this is not so simple. Recently opened Dead Sea manuscripts containing similar texts and some scientists began to doubt the correctness of the Frenchman. What if Shapiro, how he claimed to have really bought his manuscript from some Bedouin? You can’t check it now – right after death Shapiro document mysteriously disappeared from the museum. Remain only questions. Did Shapiro get his million or at least part him, and if so, where did the money go? Was Shapiro a hoaxer, and if not, why did you commit suicide? AND Was it suicide? These are the questions sometimes raised by history. The fake tiara on April 1, 1896, the Louvre announced the purchase gold tiara owned by the Scythian king Saitafern for 200,000 golden french francs. According to experts at the Louvre, Greek the inscription on the tiara confirmed the time period from the end of the 3rd century to beginning of the 2nd century BC. Domed with a pointed end tiara, whose height was 17.78 centimeters, and the weight was equal more than 450 grams of pure gold, was decorated with a narrow bottom braid in which scenes from everyday life were reflected Scythians. The wider upper braid depicted scenes from The Iliad, including the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles over Briseis. A photo from open sources Shortly after the Louvre put up a tiara for all to see, many experts expressed doubt regarding its authenticity. Among them was the German archaeologist Adolf Furtwangler who noted stylistic design issues tiaras and indicated the absence of signs of aging on the artifact. IN For several years, the Louvre defended the authenticity of its treasure. In the end, the news reached Odessa. Almost immediately arose questions about its origin, and the surprisingly good condition of the tiara became a key argument. In 19 03, a Russian jeweler from a small a town near Odessa named Rukhomovsky told researchers The Louvre, that he made this tiara to order for a certain gentleman Hochmann, who gave him books showing Greco-Scythian artifacts on which he based his work. It was a gift “for an archaeologist friend.” Eager to get this tiara, Louvre ignored warning signs that could save them from shame. Violations were made in the manufacture of tiaras. On her traces of modern tools and modern soldering were clearly visible (although skillfully hidden), and the inscription was higher than the rest relief. The Golden Tiara Saitafern is still in possession of the Louvre. In 1954, the museum included it in its Salon. fakes “, along with eight Mona Lizami. Inveterate scammers In 1962 Directorate of the Louvre (obviously, little taught misconception predecessors with tiara) again acquired the “Scythian” product. This time it was a riton similar to Rukhomovsky’s, but made in the form of a boar’s head and decorated with figures Scythians. And this object was even more similar to another well-known fake rhyton purchased by the Russian History Museum in 1908 year. Already an occasion to think – after all, apparently, the Louvre rhyton, as and Moscow, came out of the same hands. The investigation lasted not for long. It was soon established that at the end of the 19th century in Ochakovo there was a workshop led by the Gohman brothers. These were falsifiers in a big way. Most often they did not bother themselves and their masters, and ordered fakes on the side (in particular, the same Rukhomovsky) and sold not only in Russia but also in Germany, England, Greece, Italy, France … As a rule, they acted through dummies. One of their “commercial agents” was resourceful peasant woman from the village of Parutino (it is interesting to note that it was on the site of ancient Olbia!). Having appeared in a museum or to to collectors, she offered items of gold or silver, telling in detail about the circumstances of this “find”. But the Gohmans understood that for effective deception this would not be enough. So they mixed fakes with genuine products found during excavation. And once adventurous adventurers even gave the opportunity for one lover of rarities to unearth a fake, pre-hidden by them in an ancient grave! After that in her authenticity for a long time few people doubted. Faked brothers Gokhmans and ancient inscriptions, carving them on marble. In their “mafia” there were people who knew perfectly the ancient history, epigraphic literature, versed in relevant languages and styles – enough to mislead not only amateurs, but also many serious scientists. Even the director of the Odessa Archaeological Stern Museum, a tireless fighter with fakes, and he fell for the bait and in 1893 bought four Gohman marble stones with inscriptions. After all, these inscriptions were almost flawless. Expose falsification sometimes succeeded only due to trifles, for example not quite correct use of cases. But also genuine antique the inscriptions were not always grammatically sinless. Etruscan terracotta warriors Etruscan terracotta warriors – these are three statues of ancient Etruscans that were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from New York between 1915 and 1921. They were created Italian counterfeiters, the Pio brothers and Alfonso Riccardi and three of their six sons. Riccardi’s first known work was a large bronze chariot, which they ordered from a Roman merchant works of art by Domenico Fuschini in 1908. Fuscini told the British Museum that a chariot was discovered in an old Etruscan fort near Orvieto. British Museum bought chariot and reported his find in 1912. A photo from open sources Riccardi Family, with the help of a sculptor Alfredo Fioravanti, created a statue, later called “Old Warrior”. The height of the nude below the waist of the statue was 202 centimeter. The statue lacked the thumb of the left hand and the right arm. In 1915, they sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which also bought their next job, Colossal Head in 1916. The experts decided that the head must have been part of a seven-meter statues. The third part of Etruscan art was developed Pio’s oldest son, Ricardo. In 1918, the Metropolitan Museum bought sculpture “The Great Warrior” for 40,000 and presented to the public in 1921 year. Three statues of warriors were first exhibited together in 1933. In subsequent years, various art historians expressed their suspicions that, based only on stylistics and artistry statues, they may be fakes, but expert opinions, confirming suspicion was not. In 1960, the chemical a study of the varnish on the sculpture showed the presence of manganese, an ingredient that the Etruscan never used. Statues were molded, varnished, and then overturned even in unfired able to get fragments. All this has been confirmed. Alfred Fioravanti, who came to the consulate on January 5, 1961 USA in Rome with a confession. Counterfeiters lacked skills and large furnaces to create so large fragments. Fragments burned, “discovered” and sold, or were collected (“restored”) and sold. As evidence of Fioravanti introduced the finger of the Old Warrior, which he left to himself as souvenir. At the moment, the statues are kept away from the public eye, but yet they are a fun and sobering lesson that sculptures can be faked. Ancient Persian Princess This Mummy was allegedly found after an earthquake near the city of Quetta, Pakistan. The alleged Persian princess was exhibited at sale on the black market of antiquities for 600 million Pakistani rupees, equivalent to 6 million dollars. 19On October 2000, Pakistani authorities were notified of the lot. “Sellers” have been charged with violating the Antiquities Act countries, the charge that carries the maximum punishment in the form of ten years in prison. Фотоfrom open sources It all started in November 2000, when the international press reported an amazing find: mummies, which was claimed to be an ancient Persian mummy princesses whose age exceeded 2600 years. The mummy was enclosed in a carved stone coffin inside a wooden sarcophagus and was dressed in golden crown and mask. Of course, the Persian princess was right away proclaimed the most important archaeological discovery. Princess was wrapped in ancient egyptian style. All her internal organs were removed from her body, just like the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead. Her body wrapped in linen was decorated with gold artifacts, and the inscription on the golden breastplate the tablet read: “I am the daughter of the great king Xerxes, I am Rodugun.” Archaeologists have suggested that she could have been Egyptian a princess married to a Persian prince or daughter of Cyrus The great of the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia. However, mummification was primarily an Egyptian tradition, and in Persia never previously did not find mummies. When the curator from the National Museum Karachi, Dr. Asma Ibrahim, began his study of the mummy, began a completely different story comes up. In this ancient princess was some strange puzzles. The inscription on the mummy’s nameplate contained some grammatical errors, and in how it was mummified, there were also some discrepancies. Some thorough procedures that were familiar to the Egyptian mummifications have not been carried out. All this indicated that the mummy was not the princess she should have been. Quite possible, that she was a simple ancient mummy, which counterfeiters, trying to increase its value, dressed up in a Persian outfit princesses. Thus, forensic experts from around the world analyzed the mummy and its magnificent external attributes and found that she was a skillful fake. Unfortunately, at this mummy had an even darker story. Computed tomography and x-rays of the body inside the mummy showed that it was not an ancient corpse, and the body of a woman who died in the recent past, and that her neck was broken. An autopsy confirmed that this young the woman may have indeed been killed to provide scammers body for mummification. By the body they intended pass off as an ancient mummy and sell for millions of dollars on international black art market. Caution story! I would like to end with a reference to the Strugatsky brothers. They wrote in “The Tale of the Three”: “But what is the fact? .. The fact is the phenomenon or eyewitnessed deed? However, eyewitnesses may to be biased, selfish or simply ignorant … There is a fact act or phenomenon attested in documents? But documents can be falsified or fabricated … “That’s it, but if we talk about historical facts when there are no living witnesses left, such hoaxes have no numbers … As we have just they saw, they forged not only documents. And more than likely that a huge number of fakes remain unpaid. In a word, here you can hang the road sign “Caution, history!”.
Time Germany Ancient artifacts Stones Mummies Russia Sculptures