Originally posted by Druid42
I'm pretty sure the piece was acquired at an auction, but I'd have to re-read to prove that. As a study of ancient scripts, I am waiting on more
detailed pics to be provided of the rim symbols on that particular item, and IAMTAT, who has the piece, has promised them, but he is busy in
THIS thread, and it's getting more attention than this one is. I am patient.
As far as the inscriptions go, It's a hodge-podge of Etruscan, Dalecarlian, and Futharck runes, with about 5 that are unidentifiable. That's all I
can say for now.
I'm shocked that you venture it's a fake piece.
This comment wasn't made lightly. There's a couple of things that are "off" about it, which is why I asked about the dealer. Generally, the
"high end" dealers (Southeby's, for instance) have some sort of provenance when they sell an ancient piece -- either a statement from the original
owner OR a report from an archaeologist or something. So a reputable firm will include "papers" indicating where it came from, how it was obtained,
and so forth, with the sale. That's been a "standard" practice in the antiquities field for at least the past 50 years.
Here's an example of an ancient bowl with provenance from Christie's:
In addition to looking through my books, I also did research on the cultures of the area and how their bowls were made to find out what this bowl was
most similar to. I can't say my methods are 100% accurate and I didn't find everything, but I considered technology and cultures ranging from the
Chacolithic (stone age) period through the Vikings (1100 AD) and medieval alchemists. I looked at the Middle East, Russia, Germany, Austria, Assyria,
Netherlands, Finnland, Sweden, Thrace, Greece, Egypt, and so forth.
I also looked at basalt bowls and cups (the links I am giving are just ONE example site out of the dozens of each categories I looked through) :
Bowls have different shapes according to their function AND the level of technology of the culture. This is moderately deep with a flattened bottom,
Stone cooking pots are deeper, as a rule. Stone dishes are always much thinner and smaller. Stone cosmetic pots are much smaller. I spent some time
looking up ceremonial bowls such as the Babylonian "demon trap" bowls: www.edgarlowen.com...
You can see that the earliest Egyptian stone bowls are different -- they're not as well carved as this bowl is (thicker rims, less shaping of the
The bowl is improperly shaped for a mortar for grinding herbal medicines and the wrong shape for grinding corn or wheat or nuts:
It's about the right size for a brazier (www.metmuseum.org...
) but without some sort of examination
of the interior (it's not obviously fire blackened), that's hard to say. It's not as well carved as I'd expect from a brazier (the gods got only
the very best) from an ancient Greek/Roman/Etruscan/Babylonian/Jewish/etc temple. It bears a slight resemblance to some of the stone bowls used by
Vikings in blood rituals, but the walls are a bit too thick and it's rather ambitiously big for one of those.
Closer in form are the Aztec molcajetes -- but you say it comes from Europe, and the symbols certainly aren't Aztec (nor is the form... I'm looking
at the thickness of the walls and the way the stone is worked) :
As to the symbols -- they don't show the pattern characteristics of words (language), though they do have some some elements in common with Gnostic
symbols of the first millennium (see this example: www.edgarlowen.com...
) Symbols-as-writing are not unusual, particularly in
Gnostic objects or alchemical objects.
Alas, "symbols as writing" are also VERY common in faked inscriptions.
So that's why I'm cautious about it and why I asked about provenance.