...The Truth Is On The March...
(Emile Zola, 1840-1902)
Edmond R. Mansoor
...In any event, I do not despair in the least of ultimate triumph. I repeat with more intense conviction: the truth is on the march and nothing will stop her! It is only today that this affair has begun, since it is only now that sides have definitely been taken: on the one hand, the culprits who want no light at all on the business; on the other, lovers of justice who would lay down their lives for it. I have said elsewhere and I say again, when the truth is buried underground, it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day when it bursts out, it blows everything up with it. We shall soon see whether we have not laid the mines for a most far-reaching disaster in the near future.
(Emile Zola - Josephson, M. Macaulay, N.Y. 1928)
...Ce n'est pas, d'ailleurs, que je désespère le moins du monde du triomphe. Je le répète avec une certitude plus véhémente: la vérité est en marche et rien ne l'arrêtera. C'est aujourd'hui seulement que l'affaire commence, puisque aujourd'hui seulement les positions sont nettes: d'une part, les coupables qui ne veulent pas que la lumière se fasse; de l'autre, les justiciers qui donneront leur vie pour qu'elle soit faite. Je l'ai dit ailleurs, et je le répète ici: quand on enferme la vérité sous terre, elle s'y amasse, elle y prend, une force telle d'explosion, que, le jour ou elle éclate, elle fait tout sauter avec elle. On verra bien si l'on ne vient pas de préparer, pour plus tard, le plus retentissant des désastres...(Emile Zola).
Edmond R. Mansoor
New Address EDMOND R. MANSOOR
3288 North Sawtooth Court
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362-3531
Phone: (805) 496-2012
Fax: (805) 373-6882
To Etienne Drioton "un des égyptologues les plus complets de sa génération."
And to my father, M. A. Mansoor whose conviction about the authenticity of his
has always been unshakable.
Sworn Statement by Edmond R. Mansoor 2
Avant Propos 3
The Beginning of a Sad Story 7
A "Splendid Galaxy of Expert Opinion" 10
Serious Errors on MFA Letterhead 24
"Je Cherche un Homme..." (Sequel) 29
A Letter by Professor Leonard D. DuBoff 52
Deplorable and Detrimental Statements by a Few Egyptologists 57
Refusal by Stanford University Museum 69
Letter by Dr. Fred H. Stross 85
An "Expert Opinion" 88
Drioton: "Homme de Grand Savoir" 101
Dr. D. Wildung Joins the Non-Believers 106
Re: Letter by Professor Andreina Leanza Becker-Colonna 106
An Open Letter to Prof. Dr. Dietrich Wildung 110
An Open Letter to Professor E. L. Ertman 114
Re: "Artnews"--The Mansoor Amarna Collection 117
Scientific Illiteracy Observed: A Report by IFAR 121
Some Common Sense to Ponder 126
A Scientific Report par Excellence 130
Summary and Conclusions, Plus 141
The members of the M. A. Mansoor family find no words to express their eternal gratitude to all those who helped--or are still helping--us in our just cause. It is impossible to name here all the persons who stood by us, many--so generously and so graciously--donating their knowledge, precious time and effort to help us vindicate the Mansoor Amarna Collection. Their names are truly engraved in our hearts.
Our deepest thanks to all and particularly to:
Anderson, John P., Esq.
Arnal, Professor Robert E.
Bach, Dr. Otto Karl
Badawy, Dr. Alexandre
Barbacki, Professor Dr. S.
Bariand, Dr. Pierre
Becker-Colonna, Professor Andreina L.
Berger, Professor Rainer
Bernstein, Professor Marian
Blackwelder, Professor Eliot
Blanc, Dr. Philippe
Boreux, Dr. Charles
Briggs, Mrs. Mitzi
Cochran, Jr. John M. III, Esq.
Compton, Professor Robert R.
Corrigan, Dr. Robert A.
De Freitas, Dr. and Mrs. Gabriel
De Ment, Dr. Jack
Desroches-Noblecourt, Dr. Christiane
Drioton, Abbé Etienne
DuBoff, Professor and Mrs. Leonard D.
Du Bourguet, Père Pierre
Ellis, Professor Linda
Fogarty, Professor John P.
Frankenstein, Dr. Alfred
Gabra, Professor Sami
Gruner, Professor John W.
Habachi, Dr. Labib
Hay, Professor Richard L.
Hutton, Professor C. Osborne
Iskander, Dr. Zaki
Kirk, Professor Paul L.
Learned, Mrs. Terry G.
Lucas, Mr. Alfred
McDermid, Dr. Nancy C.
Majewski, Prof. Dr. Kazimierz
Mikhail, Dr. Edward H.
Mustafa, Dr. Zahira
Nolli, Monsignor Gianfranco
Peterson, John S., Esq.
Plenderleith, Dr. Harold J.
Pozerikides, Ms. Dimitra
Prévot, Professor and Mrs. Jacques
Protsch, Prof. Dr. Reiner RR
Saad, Dr. Zaki
Silver, Professor Leon T.
Stross, Dr. and Mrs. Fred H.
Trapp, Dr. Richard L.
Turner, Professor Francis J.
Varille, Mr. Alexandre
Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Jay
Xanthos, Honorable Judge George
Special thanks to Mr. Maurice G. Melkonian and Mrs. Terri Nigro
Edgard, Michel, Nabila, Henri, George and Christine Mansoor.
I, the undersigned, Edmond Robert Mansoor, born in Cairo, Egypt in 1923, do hereby swear to God the following:
1) All of what I am writing now or will write later, quote, speak, or say about the Mansoor Amarna Limestone Collection is true. This is, of course, according to facts or events known to me, to the best of my knowledge and recollections - having always God as my guide and in my conscience.
2) My father, the antiquary, M. A. Mansoor, who also made it his profession to buy and sell Egyptian antiquities as well as jewelry and other artifacts, was a man of superior integrity, second to none. He has never attempted to sell anything that seemed to him to be doubtful, let alone fake. He was indeed more than convinced of the authenticity of his Amarna Collection and those who have known him and who are still alive will attest to these facts.
3) Although on a few occasions we did send, through attorneys, letters to a few museums and/or a few Egyptologists concerning the unfounded opinion, letters and/or rumors they were spreading and which were detrimental to the Mansoors and to their Amarna Collection, we never sued anyone or any institution. Our intention was to put an end to misleading and pernicious statements that are not in accordance with facts.
Edmond R. Mansoor
Avant Propos It has been most distressful for me to write this dissertation or, rather, exposé to denounce some educational institutions as well as scholars for their acts regarding the Mansoor Amarna Collection. It has also been painful and time consuming to review events and all the facts of the last forty-six years. Plus researching Egyptological facts, to read and refresh my memory of what I learned years ago. Maybe someday, hopefully in the near future, a professional writer will write the whole story with all the facts surrounding the unique and magnificent Amarna Collection. Perhaps another Emile Zola will show up or possibly a journalist will do it. Is there a journalist who would like to volunteer for the task?
At the beginning, let it be known that I am unaware whether some of the people mentioned in this publication are living or dead. I do know about some, but not all. Consequently, whatever I am about to quote or write will be done with all reverence and respect, both to the living and the dead, having in mind not vengeance, but redress. In most instances, I am omitting the words "the late" from my writing.
• • • • •
The idea of the present dissertation/exposé nurtured in me for twenty years, i.e., since the publication of "Je Cherche un Homme..." (1971). But what mostly prompted me to write it now is a shameful and revolting rumor that originated from a leading Egyptologist and which came to my attention not too long ago. The long-repressed, sad, and tragic events have ballooned in my whole being and since I cannot contain them any longer, I have to air them.
The Ignoble Rumor: From a reliable source and which I heard in the presence of three other respectable gentlemen, the Mansoors supposedly brought a lawsuit against a German Egyptologist who is now afraid to even come to the USA for fear of being arrested. Just what kind of nonsense is this? That rumor is just as bad as the ignominious one I heard some eighteen years ago and which, most regretfully, came from a museum director in the USA, who told someone that the Mansoors are so dishonest that they should all be in jail!
The Mansoors, of course, discount entirely these rumors as pure fabrications created behind the scenes, whispered or uttered by a few misinformed persons, and which are based upon their total inability to substantiate valid reasons for their unfounded negative belief regarding the Mansoor Amarna Collection.
There has been, and there is still, malicious gossip and rumors about the Mansoors or their collection on the part of a few American as well as German Egyptologists, and I fear that their phantasmagorical pronouncements have mesmerized some of their colleagues who prefer not to contradict them. It goes without saying that the ill effect of the above rumors is not helping the Mansoors to have people view their collection with a clean look without prejudice. It has somewhat reduced their chances of selling it. But this is of no great consequence as the primary goal of the Mansoors was to completely vindicate their Amarna Collection and this has been successfully done in a scholarly manner.
From the artistic as well as the impressive and irrefutable scientific evaluation obtained, the Mansoor Amarna Collection stands tall on its own merits. Even though it may not be so in the minds of a few misinformed, prejudiced, or incompetent persons who are scientifically illiterate, and even though the vile rumors or gossip are still hammering it relentlessly and ruthlessly, the Collection is gaining recognition and respect from many scholars, art lovers, as well as serious and educated people of the highest integrity.
Rumors are despicable. They are definitely irresponsible for scholars. Those who spread them debase themselves, their name and reputation, as well as their profession and institution. The norms of ethics and decency require from true scholars to fully and personally investigate, research and scrutinize objectively and thoroughly any scientific matter which they discuss or study and on which they issue a scientific opinion or statement. To associate oneself with prejudice or incompetence is tantamount to being prejudiced or incompetent. In short, scholars should form a scientific opinion based entirely on their personal scientific knowledge without interference from hearsay. And if per chance a scholar cannot reach a decision after his study, there's no shame in acknowledging or admitting it, as not only is it a shame to condemn unjustly, but it is certainly immoral and, we believe, a crime to do so.
• • • • •
The main object of this dissertation is:
1) To mostly prevent and condemn unfounded rumors about the Mansoors or their Amarna Collection.
2) To air out true facts so people will know the TRUTH about the Mansoor Collection, as, according to the Chinese, "truth is always the strongest argument."
3) To remind people that errare humanum est, in other words that one human being, Mr. William J. Young, expert of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston made an error, and that another human being, Dr. John D. Cooney, a Curator of Ancient Art of the Brooklyn Museum, followed suit - basing his opinion on Mr. Young's...
4) To ask true scholars, and particularly the Egyptologists, to investigate and study the Collection not only because the Mansoors firmly believe and know it is ancient, and not only because all logical stylistic and scientific facts point decisively to that direction, but because it contains a wealth of information that could and would certainly shed more light on the artistic period of Akhenaten.
5) To ask the authorities of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, Massachusetts to deny and retract their valueless unscientific report dated April 14, 1949. To persist so obstinately in their silence concerning the Mansoor "problem" is in defiance of the most elementary norms of justice, ethics, and decency unbecoming "a citadel of the spirit of man" as the MFA Boston proudly calls itself.
6) To ask the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y. to retract and apologize for letters written on their letterhead by two former Curators of Ancient Art and which we consider destructive and infamous to say the least. These letters will be reproduced later.
7) Not to embarrass anyone or any institution. When quotations or letters are reproduced, it is only to show that the Mansoor Amarna Collection has been erroneously, unjustly and/or unscientifically condemned. If my personal comments, remarks, and opinion are added, I believe I am entitled to make them not only to protect the Collection and preserve the Mansoor reputation from calumnies, but also to dispel any doubt in the minds of the skeptical.
8) Finally, to prevent other individuals from going through a similar ordeal.
• • • • •
The reader should note that if I will be using "we" instead of "I" in most of the dissertation, it is because many of the events have happened to various members of the Mansoor family and some are writing with me--particularly Edgard, Michel and Henri Mansoor. The first one, Edgard, has deluged me with quotes from many scholars and lack of room does not permit me to include them all. The names and works of great Egyptologists like Aldred, Desroches-Noblecourt, Drioton, Martin, Redford and others are well known to him, and through the years and particularly in the last two, he has gratified me with an avalanche of remarks concerning the stylistic and artistic evaluation of our Amarna sculptures as compared to other authentic Amarnas in world museums. From the scientific aspect, Edgard read all the reports available on the Collection over and over, again and again, and he knows by heart most, if not all of the convincing and unquestionable evidence pertaining to the ancient surface patination.
• • • • •
I beg forgiveness and tolerance from the reader if at times I get personal. I also beg forgiveness and understanding if I display emotional outbursts, as when I am writing I simply cannot help remembering all the Mansoors went through in over forty years of uphill fight. Indeed, such deplorable memories can degenerate into outrage.
No true account can ever be given of what the Mansoors have spent in time, effort, or the hard-earned hundreds of thousands of dollars during what seems to be an eternity. Can any person of integrity do less when his lifetime's work or reputation is at stake or even in jeopardy?
No true account can ever be given of how much the members of the Mansoor family have suffered physically and emotionally in all those very long repressed years. How can they forget the tremendous frustration and exasperation sustained, and which they held back so long, when their numerous calls and cries for help to Egyptologists and museums went unheeded? How can I describe the angst, anger, and anguish, the anxiety and depression, the immense pain and torment we have endured in the last forty-six years? What words shall I find for the multiple wounds inflicted upon us and upon our Amarna Collection and which seem impossible to heal. And if and when they do and become ugly scars and stigmas, they are ruptured and bleed again and again from more and more blows! How much "blood," if any, can a director emeritus of an American museum draw "re the Mansoor ‘problem?'"
• • • • •
To get better acquainted with the story of the Mansoor Amarna Collection, the writer suggests to the reader to refer to any or all of the following:
1) Stross, Fred H., in "ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY," Authentication of Antique Stone Objects by Physical and Chemical Methods. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., March 1960. pp. 17A-24A.
2) Stross, Fred H. and Eisenlord, W.J. "A Report on a Group of Limestone Carvings Owned by M. A. Mansoor and Sons." 1965.
3) Mansoor, Edmond R., "Je Cherche un Homme...," 1971.
4) Becker-Colonna, Andreina Leanza. "ANCIENT EGYPT - AN EXHIBITION OF EL-AMARNA SCULPTURES AND RELIEFS OF THE M. A. MANSOOR COLLECTION." San Francisco State University. 1975.
5) Nolli, Gianfranco and Becker-Colonna, Andreina Leanza. "IN DEFENCE OF THE MANSOOR-AMARNA COLLECTION." June 1986.
6) Becker-Colonna, Andreina Leanza. "ANCIENT EGYPT. Ilnd. Exhibition of Sculptures and Reliefs from the M. A. Mansoor El-Amarna Collection." San Francisco State University. 1986.
7) Becker-Colonna, Andreina Leanza. ANCIENT EGYPT - MANSOOR-EL-AMARNA COLLECTION. San Francisco State University. 1991.
The above publications can be obtained from libraries with extensive Egyptological books. If not found, copies, if available and while they last, can be obtained by writing on institution's letterhead to the authors.
Since my retirement, due to health reasons, my conscience has been bothering me constantly for not exposing to the world the truth about the Mansoor Collection. And, at this age in my condition, I cannot afford but to say the truth since at any time, I could take that long extended one-way trip to a Foreign Place...where I will have to account for my actions to the Great One. So, I will confine myself to the truth, so help me God.
The Beginning of a Sad Story
The fascinating, incredible and indeed tragic story of the Mansoor Amarna Collection is impossible to tell in detail as a myriad of events happened since its acquisition. Unless we write a book in few volumes, which is not the case here, we shall never be able to do it completely. Nevertheless, we shall try to give a true account of some of the important and outstanding facts which will confirm to the reader that the Collection is incontestably ancient and indeed from the period of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, perhaps even the work of B'k and his students.
To get a clear picture, let the following facts be known:
1) M. A. Mansoor, our honorable and venerable father, started his reputable antique business in Cairo, Egypt in 1904. He acquired the first objects of the Amarna Collection in the early twenties and the last were purchased in the early forties. Precise dates or records are not available as his place of business in the world-famous Shepheard's Hotel, and all his inventory of unique and priceless treasures, were totally destroyed in the Cairo riots and fire of January 26, 1952, which leveled the old and historic hotel (cf. Nelson, Nina. Shepheard's Hotel. London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1960, pp. 5-6).
2) The Collection was purchased from the antique dealer Tawadros Girgis Ghoubrial, a serious and respectable Copt from Quena, noted for his integrity.
3) In 1936, the University of Cairo purchased a white limestone bas-relief of Akhenaten to offer to King Farouk on the occasion of his ascent to the throne. About the same time, the Queen Mother Nazli bought a standing figurine of a princess to give Farouk as a birthday gift. And in the next twelve years or so, the king himself, who was an avid antiques and art collector, particularly of ancient Egyptian art, purchased ten more Amarna objects. All were purchased from M. A. Mansoor.
4) The Beginning of Deadly Rumors. In the late thirties, some Egyptian newspapers published photographs of Farouk's Amarna acquisitions. From fear of losing much business, two Cairo antique dealers, MM. Maurice Nahman and Phocion Tano, spread rumors that the Mansoor Amarna objects were spurious. In fact, Tano had the audacity to offer Farouk, for purpose of purchase, an ugly Amarna-type head in quartzite adding it was a forgery similar to the Mansoor Amarnas. Worried, the young King summoned to Abdin Palace Dr. Etienne Drioton, the illustrious Egyptologist, who was then Director General of the Egyptian Antiquities Department and who complied, taking along Dr. Charles Boreux, Curator of Egyptian Art at the Louvre and who was visiting Egypt at the time. After they were shown the Amarna sculptures, both Egyptologists congratulated Farouk and asked where he had gotten them. They visited the antiquary M. A. Mansoor afterwards admiring at length his Amarnas as well as the other ancient Egyptian relics he had in his "Shepheard's museum." From that time on and until he left Egypt in 1952, Dr. Drioton was a regular visitor to Mansoor's Gallery.
5) "Some of the objects were offered for sale to the Cairo Museum in the forties. As they represented objects of prime importance and value, one of the foremost experts in the fields of forensic chemistry and Egyptology, the late A. Lucas, was retained by the Cairo Museum to render an authoritative opinion regarding the objects. His short, but carefully considered report concluded that the evidence was strongly in favor of the authenticity of the objects." (Stross, Fred H. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 1960. p. 18A). It should be noted that Alfred Lucas wrote 65 works in all, many of which still remain fundamental. Among them: Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries. Fourth Ed. rev. by J. R. Harris. Edward Arnold. London, 1962. A. Lucas, onetime chief chemist, Egyptian Museum Laboratories, Cairo; consultant, forensic and geological chemistry. He was educated at the School of Mines, London, and the Royal College of Science and worked for eight years for the Government Laboratory in London. He also worked for nine winters with Howard Carter on the objects found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. For more references on Lucas, see WHO WAS WHO IN EGYPTOLOGY, The Egypt Exploration Society, London. 1972.
6) At the request of Dr. Ambrose Lansing, Curator of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, N.Y., who wanted to see some of the Amarna sculptures, the Mansoors came to the USA for the first time in 1947. After admiring and examining at great length the Amarnas they had with them at the time, Dr. Lansing was satisfied and convinced of their authenticity. Since a sizable amount of money was involved, he suggested to the Mansoors to submit the sculptures to Mr. William J. Young, Director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Laboratory, for the purpose of confirming their authenticity.
7) The Beginning of an Eternal Nightmare. Two Amarna heads were then examined by Mr. William J. Young who declared on October 27, 1947, i.e., 46 years ago, that: "We have had to throw the book at the objects as far as examinations are concerned.... The larger of the two heads was examined from a minute fragment and appears not to be a natural material," and that "it shows all the indications of being a made stone which could be fabricated in a great many ways." When challenged by the Mansoors on his assertion, Mr. Young submitted the sculptures to Professor E. S. Larsen, an eminent Harvard geologist. After a careful examination, Professor Larsen stated that the material was indeed a natural foraminiferous limestone. Despite the fact that Mr. Young had failed to recognize and identify the material as a natural limestone, he was allowed to proceed with his technical examination of the Amarna objects. This time he was given nine sculptures to ensure a wider variety of weathered surfaces for study. After a year and a half of discussions, correspondence, hesitation and preconceived thought on the part of Mr. Young that the sculptures were not ancient, he finally submitted the report of his findings on October 14, 1949, concluding that the objects were "of fairly modern origin" without in any way giving factual or rational scientific evidence for this assertion. It goes without saying that his report has been highly criticized by all scientists who have commented on it as we shall see later.
8) Since we, the Mansoors, were still residing in Egypt in 1949 and had not yet emigrated to the USA, we did not care too much at the time about Mr. Young's report, particularly that we were told by Egyptian scientists that it was not worth anything as it was meaningless and unscientific. The Egyptian Museum was still considering the purchase of the Collection. Consequently, we informed Dr. Drioton about Mr. Young's unfavorable opinion. To dispel any doubt, Drs. Zaki Iskander and Zahira Mustafa were asked, in 1950, to examine all 66 Amarna objects we had in Cairo at the time. (Dr. Iskander, formerly Chief Chemist of the Research Laboratory of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; then Director General for Technical Affairs, Department of Antiquities, Egypt. Dr. Zahira Mustafa, Chemist of the Research Laboratory of the Egyptian Museum). Their long, detailed and indeed scientific report, dated November 28, 1950, was conclusive: "From all the above arguments and explanations, we find that all points favour the genuineness of all the objects under consideration."
In 1950, after the appearance of the reports of Lucas, Iskanderand Mustafa, which we distributed widely to many Egyptologists and museums, we thought it would carry weight, particularly that the three eminent scientists were attached to the Egyptian Museum. But it was too late. It had just the opposite effect. In fact, the favorable scientific reports infuriated the few American Egyptologists who had become champions of the negative opinion. Imagine how naive we were to think for a moment that they were going to retract or change their opinions since, as of the first phenomenal pronouncement of Young on October 27, 1947 that the stone was not natural, they were stating right and left that the Mansoor Amarna sculptures were forgeries!
Since the early fifties, the ugly gossip and rumors began to progress reaching eventually mammoth proportions as years went by. From despicable, they became ignominious. The reason? We were persisting in our appeals and the Amarna Collection became a "problem" to some Egyptologists and museum directors. As for the Mansoors, they became personae non gratae in certain museum circles. To our distress, we discovered that it is positively taboo to think of contradicting any opinion issued by some of the leading Egyptologists of the time. These few Egyptologists had an iron-clad grip on their colleagues who would not oppose them.
• • • • •
A "Splendid Galaxy of Expert Opinion"
It occurred to us in the late fifties that the positive reports we had of Lucas, Iskander and Mustafa may never be taken into consideration by American Egyptologists and museums since the authors were foreigners, two Egyptians and one British. Consequently, we had to secure others from eminent American and European scientists who might either verify or criticize the reports obtained: the one of Young and those of Lucas, Iskander and Mustafa.
From 1958 on, several sculptures from the Mansoor Amarna Collection were sent to renowned scientists in the fields of Geology, Petrology, Mineralogy, Chemistry, Microchemistry, and Geochemistry, in order to determine the time elapsed since the surface of the objects was shaped. To our knowledge, no ancient works of art have been subjected to as many and varied scientific tests as the Mansoor Amarna sculptures. Numerous relevant methods of examination were applied, and every aspect relating to the nature of the stone, surface patination, dendritic formations, erosion, surface pitting, organic excretions, resistance of the patina to solvents, chemical explanation of the patina formation, etc. was studied, and rational scientific evidence given clearly in detail as a result of each and every test.
Besides Lucas, Iskander and Mustafa, the distinguished scholars we are citing below were all unanimous in their conclusion that the sculptures are indeed genuine antiquities.
Dr. Robert R. Compton, Professor of Geology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, was the first American scientist to be contacted in the USA, in 1958. He studied thirteen sculptures, among them the largest in the Mansoor collection, the nearly life-size bust of Akhenaten. He was also given the report of Young dated April 4, 1949 and the one of Iskander and Mustafa of 28. 11. 1950. He was not given the names of the experts who issued the two reports. We quote the last paragraph of Professor Compton's report before his conclusions; he wrote:
"Finally, with regard to the two reports already made on the Mansoor collection, that one dated 28-11-50 [of Iskander and Mustafa] seems to me to be well-founded petrologically. It covers many items that only someone with knowledge of Egyptology could present, and I note that this report concludes that the pieces are authentic. The report dated April 14, 1949, [W. J. Young's, MFA Boston] is based mainly on petrologic and mineralogic points, and I feel that most of these are weak, to say the least. As far as I can see, the fluorescence tests offer nothing to indicate the pieces are not old, nor does the author state just what is the "false condition" he refers to. His comments on his microscopic examinations, too, offer nothing tangible to cause question of the age and authenticity of the pieces, yet he somehow concludes that the pieces are ‘of fairly modern origin.' Perhaps his error has been in comparing these pieces with ancient pieces that were weathered under different conditions, probably mainly exposed at the surface; however, it is impossible to judge his conclusions critically since he offers little evidence of how he arrived at them.
"My own conclusions may be summarized as follows:
1) The pieces are entirely of natural stone, with no fillings or paste of any kind.
2) All are weathered in a mechanical way that is exactly suitable to the conditions under which they are reported to have been found.
3) Attempts to duplicate this weathering by chemical means produced an entirely different effect than that on the surface of the pieces.
4) All other surface effects observed point strongly to the fact that the pieces are not forgeries.
5) Taking this work and the other reports together, it can safely be concluded that these sculptures are of ancient origin."
Dr. Eliot Blackwelder, Professor of Geology, Emeritus, Stanford University, California. Member of the National Academy of Science, 1959. It is noteworthy to mention his quote:
"I do not find the report of Mr. Young convincing. For many of his assertions he has supplied no satisfactory evidence."
Dr. Robert E. Arnal, Professor of Geology, San Jose State University, California, 1959. In his evaluation of previous reports, Professor Arnal wrote:
"I have read three reports evaluating the sculptures of the Mansoor Collection. The excellent report of Professor Compton, Stanford University, is obviously that of a well-qualified geologist. He brings several good lines of evidence, especially concerning the mechanical weathering, which favors strongly the authenticity of the sculptures. The report of Dr. Zaki Iskander dated November 28, 1950, is very extensive and indicates a broad knowledge of Egyptology. All his conclusions also favor the authenticity of the sculptures. On the contrary, the report of Mr. Young of the Boston Museum is mostly the expression of an opinion based on very weak evidence to say the least."
Also for his detailed and extensive report, Professor Arnal is indeed precise and unequivocal. His conclusions:
"I will summarize my conclusions by saying that:
1. The sculptures are made entirely of natural rock which contains no artificial filling.
2. The weathered surface is a natural one and was produced over a long period of time.
3. The fluorescence method is not reliable and any opinion on the authenticity of these sculptures based on the use of this method should be disregarded.
4. The artistic value of these sculptures has been established by one of the foremost experts in the field.
5. It can be stated that these sculptures are authentic and of ancient origin."
Professor Leon T. Silver, Geochemistry Laboratory, Division of Geological Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, 1959. The impressive and indeed outstanding report of Professor Silver is reproduced entirely in "Je Cherche un Homme..." pp. 30-34.
In "A Report on a Group of Limestone Carvings Owned by M. A. Mansoor and Sons," Dr. Fred H. Stross and Mr. William J. Eisenlord, p. 16, wrote:
"Perhaps the most incontrovertible evidence, however, was contributed by Professor Silver. The method used for the purpose is based on recent discoveries, and was ingeniously developed for the case under study. The principle is simply that objects exposed to the action of desert weathering conditions suffer the surface change known as patination not only physically, but also chemically.
"In 1958, Engel and Sharp showed that in natural desert patina, the so-called ‘desert varnish,' manganese oxides are invariably enriched more than most other elements. This enrichment process is a very slow one whose precise rate or mechanism is not known, but geologists consider this a reliable indicator of ancient weathered surfaces. Silver took several samples from the surfaces of two objects, as well as from the interior of the same objects. When comparing the compositions of the samples taken from the interior with those taken from the surface by spectroscopic analysis, he found in both cases that the surface samples showed a significant enrichment in manganese, and even more distinctly in barium and copper, all elements mentioned by Engel and Sharp as being among those showing greatest enrichment in the varnish.
"In summarizing the superficial effects of the two processes, weathering and patination, which in some ways work against each other, Kirk has stated that it would be difficult to conceive of forging either of them as observed, but impossible to imagine them being achieved together. Even more remote is the possibility of artificially achieving the more far-reaching effects described in the preceding paragraphs, especially since it would have had to be done before the 1920's or nearly thirty-five years before the discovery of the selective enrichment of certain elements in ‘desert varnish.'"
Dr. Jack De Ment, De Ment Laboratories, Portland, Oregon, 1959. We quote from his report:
"At the outset, from a study of the Young Report, it is clear that Mr. Young:
a) did not fully understand the tool with which he was working, i.e., the ultraviolet lamp;
b) and compounded upon this lack of understanding did not properly and correctly interpret such results as he may have obtained...
"In view of the foregoing remarks, and in the carefully considered opinion of the present investigator, the report of Mr. W. J. Young, dated 14 April, 1949, wherein Mr. Young's so-called ‘purple fluorescence' is alleged to ‘clearly indicate that the pieces in question are of fairly modern origin,' is:
a) Weak, subjective, and without meaning as set in its present form;
b) Fraught with erroneous conclusions based upon inadequate experience and understanding with and of ultraviolet light and fluorescence compounded with a complete inability to interpret the results of visual fluorescence analysis;
c) Indicative of lack of objectivity and lack of carefulness an otherwise competent scientist would rely upon;
d) To be completely disregarded in any serious appraisal of a body of evidence relating to the authenticity, or lack of same, of the Mansoor sculpturings."
We also would like to quote from Dr. De Ment's report, p. 19, the "SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS." He wrote:
"In view of (a) what is felt to be a thorough study and collation of the gist of ten reports and letter-reports relating to the Mansoor Collection of Egyptian Sculpturings, and (b) the results obtained by the present investigator, the following conclusions are drawn by this writer about the three Mansoor objects identified in Section I hereof:
(1) The report of W. J. Young of the Boston Museum, including a purported fluorescence analysis, lacks factual and objective bases, for the reasons given in Section III (discussing the Young Report), and should be eliminated in any serious appraisal of a body of evidence regarding the authenticity, or lack of same, of the Mansoor objects.
(2) Fluorescence analysis made in this laboratory of the three Mansoor objects confirms the statement made under (1) supra.
(3) Fluorescence analysis made in this laboratory of the three Mansoor objects shows that these objects have had a history of chemomechanical and/or biochemomechanical alteration consistent with authenticity and substantial age.
(4) Visible, ultraviolet, and infrared photographic investigations made in this laboratory on the three Mansoor objects show features consistent with authenticity and substantial age.
(5) Spectrochemical analysis as well as microscopic studies, together with a close scrutiny of known facts regarding the nature of patina, are all consistent with authenticity and substantial age.
(6) It is therefore the considered opinion of the present writer that the three Mansoor sculptures he has examined are genuine and correctly represented as defined by the limits of the investigational techniques (a) employed and reported upon herein and (b) employed and reported upon in the previous reports substantiating authenticity."
Dr. Paul L. Kirk, professor of Microchemistry, University of California, Berkeley; Technical Investigations. Berkeley, 1959.
We quote the beginning of Dr. Kirk's report:
"Brief examination was made of several small sculptured articles supplied by Mr. E. Mansoor from his collection. One of these, a head 4½ inches in length, sculptured from a brownish-pink limestone, was examined more extensively."
Commenting on the previous reports obtained, Dr. Kirk wrote:
"The sole report in which the authenticity of these sculptures is brought into question is that of W. J. Young. His report is chiefly impressive for its lack of reasoned conclusions, and the distinct impression that he is expressing only a personal opinion that he does not believe the sculptures to be genuine; hence, any observation he makes is so interpreted. His conclusions from examination with ultraviolet light cannot be given unqualified acceptance by anyone experienced in the technique.
"The additional reports give support to the authenticity of the objects as being of ancient origin, and excellent experimental work and logical conclusions are present to a degree in most of them. It can be accepted that the material is genuine limestone, containing many Foraminifera, and various mineral inclusions other than calcium carbonate. Dendrites of manganic oxide are apparent, more commonly in fissures than on the surface in the specimen examined."
For "Summary" of his report, Dr. Kirk wrote:
"Comparison of the possibilities of genuine antiquity as the cause of the condition of the surface of the object examined with those of counterfeiting of this condition indicates very strongly that the object is in its present condition as a result of long weathering.
"The erosion of the surface, along with its patina, could not have been duplicated so precisely by rapid methods without leaving tell-tale failures and errors that could be located and interpreted.
"Not only the surface itself, but the markings on it, the erosion around raised manganic oxide particles, and other detailed features, are all in accord with the genuine antiquity of the object examined."
Dr. Francis J. Turner, Professor of Geology, University of California, Berkeley, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, 1960. We quote from the San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle of February 9, 1969: "Prof. Francis J. Turner of the University of California has been awarded the Lyell Medal of the Geology Society of London, one of the highest honors in his scientific field. The medal is given annually in the name of Sir Charles Lyell, one of the founders of modern geology and is rarely awarded to an American... The medal will be presented to Dr. Turner on April 23 in London at the annual meeting of the society, the oldest body of its kind in the world. Dr. Turner, a specialist on petrology, and the author and co-author of many books and scientific papers, was awarded the medal on the basis of his overall work in his field. He has received many other academic honors, including the Sterling Fellowship from Yale University, two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Hector Medal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and a Fullbright Fellowship. His major work, co-authored with UC geophysicist John Verhoogen, ‘Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology,' is a standard text for advanced students in geological research and has been translated into several languages..."
We quote all what Professor Turner wrote:
"After a rather cursory examination of the three sculptured heads submitted by you, and a careful perusal of the complete file of reports and correspondence on the Amarna limestone heads, I am glad to offer the following comments.
(1) I do not know of any scientific test by which the relative age (even "ancient" versus "modern") of a sculptured stone surface can be determined with certainty. Any statement regarding the modern or ancient age of the sculptured surfaces which you submitted to me can only be a matter of opinion. Such an opinion, it is true, may be relatively sound if it is consistent with convincing evidence scientifically established by adequate techniques; or, in the absence of such evidence, it may be dismissed as scientifically worthless speculation.
(2) Since you have already obtained a number of reports from well-known experts in various appropriate fields who have examined the sculptures by a wide variety of techniques, it would serve no good purpose for me or any other petrographer to go over the same ground again. The authenticity of the heads must be judged on the basis of reports now available, taking into account also the opinion (not yet received) of my colleague, Professor C. O. Hutton, Stanford University, who enjoys the highest reputation in the field of microchemical mineralogy.
(3) Certain of the reports submitted by you, notably those by R. R. Compton (1958), R. E. Arnal (1959), P. L. Kirk (1959), and L. T. Silver (1959), are models of clarity and scientific reasoning. The methods used are clearly stated, the evidence so obtained is set out in detail, and conclusions are stated without ambiguity. These consultants are scientists highly skilled in applying special techniques in investigating minerals and stones.
(4) The report of W. J. Young (4-14-49) by contrast carries no conviction. The evidence cited by him gives no indication of the relative age of the sculptured stone surfaces. His comments are couched in language that in places is meaningless to a scientists (e.g., the last lines in his comments on specimens 233 and 124). The report and appended "remarks and conclusions" cannot be taken seriously as a solution to your problem.
(5) In the American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 61, pp. 248-249, 1957, there appears a published article by W. J. Young, reporting on the nature of the marble from which was carved a statue of Trajan in the Fogg Museum. This report deals with aspects of the petrography, texture and chemistry of marble in which I claim some degree of expert knowledge. In my opinion, the techniques employed by Mr. Young, in this case, were unsuited to the problem and could not be expected to contribute to its solution. Other techniques, adequate to solve the problem, he ignored. The conclusions reached by him regarding the Fogg Trajan were, in my opinion, completely without foundation. From this limited experience, I am inclined to view Mr. Young's pronouncements on mineralogical and petrographic problems with some skepticism.
(6) The evidence collectively supplied in the reports submitted to me, is consistent with the opinion of the majority of your consultants, that the heads are authentic ancient sculptures. I see no reason against accepting them as authentic."
Dr. C. Osborne Hutton, Professor of Mineralogy, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1960. In reviewing the aforementioned reports, Professor Hutton wrote:
"All of the reports, except that due to Mr. W. J. Young, present evidence along many lines that lead to only one conclusion, namely, that the objects studied are genuine antiquities. Furthermore, the data set out in the sole report that casts doubt upon the authenticity of the objects (W. J. Young) are, in my opinion, imprecisely expressed, and scientifically unsound in a number of respects. In this connection at least two points should be clearly understood:
(1) Mr. Young expresses the opinion that because the objects studied by him fluoresce in ultraviolet light, under the conditions imposed by him, they are, necessarily, of recent manufacture. I believe that the data and statements set out by De Ment Laboratories and by Mr. R. E. Arnal effectively destroy Mr. Young's position in this direction.
(2) If I have interpreted his phraseology correctly, Mr. Young states that the form of the dendrites in the sculptures points to absence of antiquity. Mr. Compton, and Mr. Silver in particular, point out that there has been growth or creep of manganese oxides and/or hydroxides at the surface, and that erosion has caused the manganese oxide/hydroxide efflorescences to exhibit some relief above the limestone surface. These findings, by the latter two investigators, definitely support the belief that the surfaces are of considerable age, and contradict Mr. Young's position on this matter.
"Furthermore, the characteristics of the erosion surfaces, together with the relief and polish exhibited by foraminifera and other organic remains, the lack of evidence of artificial polish on some broken, but not very recent, surfaces, the gradation of thin surface patina into less altered limestone, and several other situations, clearly support the conclusion of great age. Furthermore, there is no need to go into the question of the nature of the stone used because this has been shown quite definitely to be natural limestone devoid of any "paste" or artificial filling.
"There is one line of evidence, however, that is, in my opinion, of very special significance; this concerns the data obtained by Mr. Silver on the relative amounts of several critical trace elements in the surface stone, and in the interior of the objects tested. Mr. Silver has found definite evidence of relative enrichment of the outer surfaces in manganese, barium, and copper, whether the color is grey or yellow, and this critical evidence, more than anything else, weighs most heavily in favor of the antiquity of the objects studied. In fact, this is the only plausible explanation that may be offered to account for the selective enrichment of the surface layers in these elements.
"After a careful consideration of the data set out in all of the reports submitted for review, I am of the opinion that the weight of evidence is most definitely in favor of the genuine antiquity of the sculptures studied by the investigators, and I am unable to find any significant or critical data that would support Mr. W. J. Young's conclusions in any way whatsoever."
Dr. Fred H. Stross, Research Associate, Archaeological Research Facility, Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley. Participating Guest, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, UC Berkeley, which is world-famous for its advanced and pioneering research in nuclear physics and chemistry, including neutron activation analysis for archaeological objectives. Dr. Stross has organized symposia and has lectured internationally on the application of the physical sciences to archaeology and authentication of art objects. He is also Consultant to the Lowie Museum of Anthropology as well as The University Art Museum at the University of California, Berkeley.
The unflinching, positive and absolute conviction of Dr. Stross, re the Mansoor Amarna Collection, cannot be told in a few paragraphs or chapters. Perhaps a volume is required to give a true account of his magnificent work on these sculptures. Indeed, since 1949 and to date, this eminent scientist has been seriously interested in the Collection studying in detail every single object as well as the reports pertaining to the Collection. Besides his outstanding and unequivocal first article on the sculptures, "Authentication of Antique Stone Objects by Physical and Chemical Methods," which appeared in "Analytical Chemistry," March 1960, and besides his private publication in association with W. J. Eisenlord titled "A Report on a Group of Limestone Carvings Owned by M. A. Mansoor and Sons," 1965, and which was distributed to many museums, Egyptologists and others, Dr. Stross has given numerous talks and written many articles on the Collection. We quote the conclusion of his first article published in Analytical Chemistry, March 1960: "Thus the expanded armamentarium of the chemist and spectroscopist offers weapons to the collector and student of the ancient arts that in many cases should convince the most skeptical individual as surely as the advent of radiocarbon dating has done in its field of application."
Professor John W. Gruner, Geology and Mineralogy, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, wrote on October 11, 1960:
"I read the copies and articles you sent me and agree completely with the opinions of the expert mineralogists you consulted. It would be practically impossible to forge the dendritic manganese wad and other hydroxides that you describe. On this you may quote me. I think you have nothing to fear from this angle of the argument.
"To send me one of your sculptures for examination would put you to additional expense and not change my conclusions."
Dr. Harold J. Plenderleith. Formerly Keeper of the Research Laboratory of the British Museum, then Director, International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (UNESCO), Rome, 1961.
Following is the entire statement given to us by Dr. Plenderleith:
"TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
"I have handled one or two specimens from the Mansoor Collection of limestone figurines from Tell El Amarna that were stated to be typical of the collection, looked at the surfaces with a magnifier, but have made no laboratory examination. I have been shown a number of scientific reports, summaries of these in a review by Professor C. O. Hutton, Stanford University, California, as well as photographs taken in daylight, U.V. and I.R. illumination and after studying these I have read Dr. Stross in Analytical Chemistry, March 1960.
"My first impression of the great interest attaching to these specimens remains. That the collection has been considered to be "too good to be true" by some is understandable for the specimens submitted to me showed "wear" (degradation), but very little actual deterioration after 3,000 years; they were all very clean; there was little damage of such a nature, as to impair their value as art or historic objects, finely chiselled noses, chins, etc. having survived where thick necks had been broken; and a curious freshness of line attracted attention, made by the sculptor's point, which remained rather whitish in the textured and coloured limestone. In regard to the laboratory reports submitted, it may be sufficient to state that I find the published account of Dr. Stross entirely convincing and to my mind it is not essential to carry any laboratory enquiry as to genuineness further, the case having been amply proved.
"Interest lies rather in trying to understand and explain the discrepancies in the reports. Granted that the conclusions in certain instances are incompatible I find on studying the observations upon which deductions have been made that these are not necessarily incompatible. Thus, I have a strong impression that the objects seen by me had never been exposed to weathering in the normal sense, i.e., exposed in the open. I regard the degraded surfaces of stone as having arisen from natural burial in sharp sand. A grinding phenomenon then operates through the years as is well-known and can even result, in extreme cases, in the loss of shape of compact bone and sometimes in its entire disappearance! The fine tool lines referred to above as "being whitish" were possibly caked over by a protective layer through the ages and the general clean appearance of all specimens suggests the washtub, probably with brushing that could easily result in ambiguity in the interpretation of U.V. fluorescences.
"In my considered opinion, it would be as serious a mistake to underestimate the importance of scientific investigation as to consider that a lack of unanimity in the conclusions warrants a decision against the genuineness of the Egyptian antiquities for, as I have analysed the evidence before me, the inescapable conclusion is that there is over-riding agreement as to their genuineness.
"It is because of this conviction that I am taking the exceptional step of making this gratuitous statement in the hope that after 20 years of doubt it may be a factor in restoring confidence."
Signed: Harold J. Plenderleith
Prof. Dr. Reiner RR Protsch, Department of Palaeoanthropology+ Archaeometry (C-14+Amino-acid Laboratories), J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. 1976.
Dr. Protsch examined eighteen pieces of the Mansoor Amarna sculptures and his excellent "Expertise of the Mansoor Collection" has been inserted entirely in "In Defence...pp. 39-46." We quote from his detailed anthropological-morphological examination:
"...The morphological examination concentrated on the following points:
1) Physical features of Nefertiti and Akhenaton which might appear in their daughters.
2) Comparison of physical features of the Akhenaton and Nefertiti individuals of the Mansoor Collection to other known collections, i.e., Berlin and Kairo.
3) Comparison of physical features of the princesses to other known representations of other collections, i.e., Berlin and Kairo.
4) How many of the 6 daughters of Akhenaton and Nefertiti are actually represented in the Mansoor Collection.
"The detailed morphological analysis concentrated on 18 pieces of the collection over a five months period. The analysis started with an eight day work on the above named pieces and further detailed work at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) followed by work at the J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt, BRD in the Department of Palaeoanthropology and Chronology.
"Akhenaton and Nefertiti. Many physical features of the princesses are indeed those of Akhenaton and Nefertiti. The detailed work of the heads, especially anatomical details by the artist, shows his excellent powers of observation of anatomical details of both parents and children. This in my opinion can only be done if the Royal Family was sitting for the artist. A recent production of these heads is only possible if the artist had constantly over many years access to some original sculptures requiring him to be an excellent artist as well as an anatomist. Even for an outstanding present day anatomist and artist it would be hard to produce such morphological details which shows a positive relationship between parents and daughters. Nearly all important morphological features of the Royal Family known from such collections of the Berlin and Kairo Museums are, with some minor stylistic differences, represented in the Mansoor Collection pieces.
"If the Mansoor Collection was produced in recent times, copying would only be possible if an artist had constant access to an original collection like those of the above museums over a period of many years.
"...In their overall morphology all heads of the princesses of the Mansoor Collection are the same as that head of the Berlin Museum, examined by Gerhardt in 1967 (Berlin 21223). The only possibility of a recent origin of these heads of the Mansoor Collection would be, as pointed out above, the access of an artist in modern times to a collection like the one in Berlin over an extensive time period.
"...I could go into more anatomical details, but the above should suffice, especially when it is obvious that all heads, and especially one, are apart from minor details and differences which are those normally showing up in different individuals morphologically and anthropologically the same as Berlin 21223. They are also very similar to Berlin 21364, Kairo 44869, and Kairo 44870. Some features also remind of Berlin 17951, especially the overall form of the head. Berlin 21223 possibly represents the same princess as the Mansoor Collection 6"x3½" head in pink limestone. Differences between the six princesses, represented in the Mansoor Collection by nine heads, are solely due to expression, with some individual differences of nose, chin, eyes, the occipital, and the size of the neck. All heads are eury-, pseudodolichomorphic. Since they are still fairly young but have already attained at least 95% of their adult brain capacity, it can be expected that with full adult growth the peculiar head-form will become less pronounced.
"The six statuettes of the princesses possibly represent five different individuals. The statuettes size 14½"x6"x3" and 8"x3"x2" are those of the same individual. No comparisons to other statuettes could be made, since the author is unaware of any others for comparison. Body form and proportions are, however, very similar to those of Akhenaton. Facial features, expressions etc., when compared to those heads of the princesses, are quite similar.
"The anatomical knowledge of the artist is astonishing and it is only possible to copy these details from a living individual. A comparison to those pieces of the Berlin and Kairo Museums (Gerhardt 1967) was done by this author on purpose, since those pieces have been in the Museums for long periods of time unavailable to anyone for copying. Apart from minor stylistic differences, differences between the Mansoor Collection and the Berlin and Kairo Collections of princesses do not exist. A person not trained to observe anatomical detail might make the mistake of concentrating on differences in style.
"I can only reach the conclusion that if the Berlin and Kairo pieces are genuine, which could be solely due to different workmanship by different artists, those pieces of the Mansoor Collection are also genuine."
Dr. Rainer Berger, Professor of Anthropology, Geography and Geophysics, University of California (UCLA), Los Angeles, 1976.
We quote the first ten paragraphs of Dr. Berger's "Evaluation" of the "Mansoor Amarna Collection."
"Recently two Amarna sculptures of the Mansoor Collection were analyzed to determine if they are genuine artifacts or not. The objects tested are Fig. 6 and 19 of that collection and representative in general appearance of the other pieces.1 "Both sculptures or heads tested are made from a fine-grained foraminiferal limestone of not always strictly uniform composition. One of the heads of Akhenaton is made of a more pink variety of limestone whereas the other is composed of a pale yellow-hued off-white limestone (head of princess).
"In either case, the heads are composed throughout of stone as can be ascertained from modern mounting holes bored through the neck portions in the direction of the head in the usual manner. No artificial substitutes such as plaster fills or gesso application could be detected.
"The surfaces of the heads are covered by a very faint patination which becomes more discernible when one compares the appearance of the native stone surface seen in the recently bored mounting holes with the overall coloration of the sculptures. Moreover, etching with very dilute hydrochloric acid not only attests to the limestone composition, but also removes the patination to show the true color of the native rock.
"There arises the question whether very mild patination goes hand in hand with relatively recent age. However, this need not be the case if the Amarna pieces stem from the dry and protected environment from which they have been reported to originate. In fact many genuine sculptures in the Cairo Museum show very little patination even though they are very old. This lack of substantial patination is not necessarily a true indicator of recency, a fact often observed by the writer over many years in many collections world-wide.
"The question to what extent genuine patinations can be artificially produced has been dealt with by other experts in separate reports and need not be discussed here.
"By far the best quantitative tests of surface composition relative to the average of the native rock itself are the analyses of L. Silver. The implications are that a substantially different surface composition as opposed to the interior of the stone speaks in favor of long time periods of exposure to produce this effect. A freshly carved stone surface would not possess these chemical characteristics. Implicit in this result is the question to what extent such a composition can be simulated on a piece of modern sculpture. First of all, the techniques of surface profile analysis are relatively recent. A determined forger would have to know just how much impurities to add to a surface treatment to arrive at the distinctly measurable but minute chemical differences in surface composition. Massive surface intervention would be clearly detectable and stand out even if the naked eye were to see only minute change. Conversely, had the figures been painted in antiquity, as was often the case, the total lack of paint would argue for great age, especially when one considers burial in dry sand.
"Over the years a variety of physical and chemical techniques have been developed to date minerals. These include uranium/lead dating, potassium/argon dating, fission track analysis and obsidian hydration dating to name a few. None of these methods can be brought to bear on the time when the Amarna sculptures were carved. However, fluorine diffusion studies now underway may in the future be applicable to dating the Mansoor Amarna Collection and unambiguously provide a clear-cut answer.
"Thus there exists so far no chemical or physical technique which can give an unequivocal answer to the exact age in years when the Amarna sculptures of the Mansoor Collection were carved.
"However, the anthropometric analysis of R. Protsch lends considerable weight to the authenticity of this collection. Since the shape of the skull of the principal figures is well-known from unassailably genuine sculptures, comparison can be made between those pieces and the Mansoor Collection. On the basis of the known genealogy and skull morphology, it can be shown that the sculptures of the Mansoor Collection fit well with known authentic masterpieces which were not found long ago. Consequently, a forger would not have had long to copy the originals. Also, just about all indications suggest that the surfaces of the Mansoor Collection are old and could not have been made in recent decades. Therefore, it is much more probable that the Mansoor pieces are real."
Dr. Pierre Bariand, Laboratoire de MINÉRALOGIE-CRISTALLOGRAPHIE. Curator of the Mineral Collection at the UNIVERSITÉ PIERRE ET MARIE CURIE (SORBONNE), Paris. After examining three Mansoor Amarna objects (nos. 19, 24 and 26), Dr. Bariand wrote in 1980 (cf. In Defence...p. 36):
L'examen de l'état de surface des matériaux ayant servi à la réalisation de ces objets montre une patine très ancienne aboutissant à la conclusion que ces objets sont authentiques. L'aspect granulé de la patine respectant d'ailleurs l'état des débris fossiles existant rend peu probable une imitation moderne." Our translation: Examination of the surface of these objects shows a very ancient patina reaching the conclusion that these objects are authentic. Moreover, the granulated appearance of the patina compared to fossils debris is not likely to be a modern imitation.
We should note here that Dr. Philippe Blanc, a colleague of Dr. Bariand at the same Laboratory, stated without ambiguity that the limestone of the Mansoor objects is natural, and, "D'après les travaux de géologie réalisés en Égypte, une localisation probable de ces matériaux serait: Luxor et Quena sur la vallée du Nil." (cf. In Defence...p. 38). Translated: From geological work made in Egypt, a probable localization of the material would be: Luxor and Quena in the Nile Valley.
• • • • •
On February 2, 1959, Dr. Ben H. Parker, Professor of Mineralogy at the Colorado School of Mines, issued a brief report after reviewing the first four reports on the Mansoor Amarna Collection, and after examining five of the limestone sculptures. We quote some of what he wrote:
"...Without attempting to ascribe any definite degree of antiquity upon the basis of weathering effects, some significance may be attached to the fact that all who have examined pieces from the Mansoor collection with regard to the surface condition of the pieces and whose reports are available have recognized some degree of weathering.
"In résumé, it is my considered opinion that there is no scientific method available which can be relied upon to fix with certainty the age of the objects under consideration. Rather, I believe that their antiquity must be determined by a comparison with the style and execution of other pieces of known antiquity. If such comparisons are in all respects favorable, then, in my judgment, the antiquity of these pieces would not be subject to question because of any "false" nature of the stone used in the sculptures, because of variations in the degree or type of weathering shown on the pieces which I have examined, nor because of any observed physical or petrological condition which would give rise to suggestions of "false" or "forced" weathering."
• • • • •
Serious Errors on MFA Letterhead
In the preceding pages, we have cited over fifteen scientists--all outstandingly qualified in their respective field, who have given a clear, favorable opinion on the Mansoor Amarna Collection. We have also mentioned the negative opinion of Mr. William J. Young, director of the MFA Boston Laboratory, and a facsimile of his "Technical Examination of nine Tel-El-Amarna Objects" has been inserted entirely in "Je Cherche un Homme..." pp.24-29.
We have some letters written by Mr. Young, dated from the late 1940s, and we would like to quote a few sentences from two of them. But before we do this, it is necessary to point out that these letters were written after he had declared on October 27, 1947 that the limestone "appears not to be a natural material" and that "it shows all the indications of being a made stone which could be fabricated in a great many ways." He concluded that letter by saying: "In my opinion, the above two heads are of fairly modern origin. A full report will follow in the near future."
Now, we quote Mr. Young in one of the two letters, which is dated March 3, 1948. He wrote: "Regarding the examination of the pieces [nine Amarnas] left in our care, I am sorry that we have not as yet come to a definite conclusion. We are waiting for further information regarding the stone from the Geology Department at Harvard. I have been promised this information within the next week or ten days." The answer Mr. Young was expecting from Harvard was that the stone is a fabricated one. The information which came from the Geology Department at Harvard was that the stone is indeed a natural foraminiferous limestone--consequently not "a made stone which could be fabricated in a great many ways."
Now, we quote Mr. Young in the other letter dated September 22, 1948. He said: "Thank you for your letter. I had a very successful time in Europe this summer and have just started to pick up the loose ends at the Museum. I'd very much like to make one more spectrographic analysis of some of the deposit on one of the cleavages of the large head. This will complete my examination. As soon as this is done, I will forward a written report to you." As we can see from the preceding statement, Mr. Young had not yet completed his report on September 22, 1948. Yet, at the end of that very same letter, dated September 22, 1948 he added the following: "While abroad this summer, I made it a point of studying various Amarna material, including a fresco of Akhenaten's daughters at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and I found no reason to alter the technical evidence unfortunately indicating they are of fairly modern origin."
The preceding paragraph makes us understand that Mr. Young had definitely a preconceived opinion: He had declared on October 27, 1947 that the sculptures were not ancient and, regardless of that "one more spectrographic analysis" he wanted to make on the large head, the sculptures will have to be so in his report. Never mind whether his examination was complete or not. Never mind that one more spectrographic analysis.
It is interesting to note that it took over six months--from September 22, 1948 to April 14, 1949 (date of the written report) for Mr. Young "to make one more spectrographic analysis of some of the deposit on the cleavages of the large head."
It is also interesting to note that while he was abroad during that summer of 1948, Mr. Young "made it a point of studying various Amarna material, including a fresco of Akhenaten's daughters." First of all, to our understanding, he neither examined scientifically the Amarna material he is talking about, nor even handled it. Second, since the fresco of Akhenaten's daughters is a painting, no scientist should ever compare the surface of an ancient painting with that of any sculptured stone, whether ancient or not. No serious scientist should even think of it.