Thursday, 10 September 2015

The "Science" of fakes?

On the back of the CBSN report, which everyone is enthusing about, and the fact that it showed a whole load of junk fakes...
"ok, caught Paul's but was looking for something scientific."
bloody cheek. :>)
Surely the identification of fake artefacts from photos is a subjective process rather than one based on empirical data. Since the objects we are discussing are in the hands of clandestine dealers in Turkey (or thereabouts) all one can ever offer from anywhere else except his storeroom is an opinion. It is my opinion that the majority of what Omar was showing the CBS reporter were crappy fakes, other observers are entitled to have another opinion. That does not mean there is anything "unscientific" in somebody expressing an opinion.

I really do think it is unlikely that we'll find a journal article on the topic. "The visual characterisation of object authenticity in the contents of Omar's phone" does not sound like the sort of title any peer-reviewed journal I know would accept.

According to Kyri, over on Tim Haines' Yahoo discussion list some dealers on Yahoo group dismissing the whole article as all fakes, they say: "even the mosaics". I would not know, the dealers and collectors over there are so "responsible" they do not want people like me reading what they say there. [On looking again, I can see what the Yahoo dealers are saying about two of the mosaics, perhaps they are right in those cases shown in the online article and its gallery, but I still think the one shown in the house in Istanbul  is indeed a real ancient mosaic. By the way, let's see some discussion of the "lead book" picture. What is that about?].


lalbertson said...

Poor choice of words on my part. Wasn't implying your opinion or others was wrong (that this reporter's photos are of a seeded mix of goods). I was merely looking for something further, something based on the epigraphic or iconographic details that might say more about the piece. Opinions still, and likely not going to be found in a dusty book somewhere where we can say "Aha!!!! This is looted! But this is what I meant when I said scientific. I was just not able to distill that down into 140 characters on a tweet. No cheek intended.

Paul Barford said...

No offence was taken, more interesting is the point that this kind of discussion ONLY takes place on blogs and forums, the academics generally keep well away. That 140 characters is both a blessing and a curse.

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