Archaeologists in Egypt Find Ptolemaic King Statue

By | May 6, 2010

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 2,000-year-old granite statue of a Ptolemaic-era king near what is believed to be the tomb of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.

A statement from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities says the headless statue was discovered at the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of the coastal city of Alexandria.

The ancient Egyptian temple is believed to be the burial site of Cleopatra and her lover, Mark Antony.

The head of the Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, says the statue could belong to King Ptolemy IV. Hawass says it represents the traditional shape of an ancient Egyptian king wearing a collar and kilt.

The archeology team, led by Hawass and Dominican archeologist Kathleen Martinez, has spent the last five years trying to locate Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s final resting place. The Egyptian queen and her lover supposedly committed suicide after their defeat at the battle of Actium.

The archeologists say they also have discovered the original entrance to the temple of Taposiris Magna on its western side. They say there is evidence the entrance to the temple was lined with a series of sphinx statues similar to those of the pharaonic era.

via Archaeologists in Egypt Find Ptolemaic King Statue.

How do they know it is not a fake? Could modern artists make things like this and create false antiquities?

4 thoughts on “Archaeologists in Egypt Find Ptolemaic King Statue

  1. Ann

    I’m sure the archeologists used several of the dating techniques available to them before issuing a press release (if, for no other reason, their professional reputations are at stake). It’s not like they’re guessing.

  2. Ann

    No, they may not date the stone itself, although I think there are methods of doing that. They usually date it by checking out the strata and/or the conditions within which the object lies – such as carbon deposits. For sure they check out if the site has been disturbed in the past. The way the object is made is also important, because it must relate to other objects made at what is presumed to be the same time. There’s a lot of techniques used that cross-check their dating of the object.

    1. Xeno Post author

      This one on the left is a fake. Yes, Zahi told me they dating the Great Pyramid using bits of wood found in it. I think it has to be something organic to use some dating methods. In terms of a tomb, I don’t think there would be layers of dirt that would show you how far back it went … but the context, the surroundings would still be the best clue as to the age.

      There was a video a while back where someone was accusing the Egyptian antiquities people of working in secret at night. I said at the time that they could just as well be putting things in as taking them out based on what you could see. Why would you want to put something in? So you could pull a scam.

      I’m not out to malign anyone in particular or the particular statue above. I’m just pointing out that I don’t understand the checks and balances involved in authenticating finds like this. Even if they have a video showing the discovery, it could be faked or someone could have put something in and sealed it, then they show a video breaking the seal. I read something like that happened once… was it with King Tut’s tomb? Hmm.

      Could some group make a statue worth $10,000 into a $400,000 statue?

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