Chapter 27: Three More Reports Authenticating the Mansoor-Amarna Collection
In early 1975, at the suggestion of Dr. Rainer Berger, Professor of Anthropology, Geography and Geophysics at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), the Mansoors approached Dr. Reiner Protsch Von Zieten, professor of Anthropology at the University of Frankfurt, Director of the Department of Palaeoanthropology and Archaeometry (C-14 + Amino-acid Laboratories), Osteo-Archaeometry, J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, who was visiting in California and doing research work at UCLA. Dr. Protsch Von Zieten saw, studied, and examined all the sculptures in San Francisco and Los Angeles over a period of many weeks. He took his own notes, and his own photographs as well as detailed measurements of the portraits, features, etc. Furthermore, he consulted some of the photographs and radiographies taken by the De Ment Laboratories of Portland, Oregon, and by Dr. Fred Stross. For his more thorough morphological examination, he selected all the sculptures representing the six princesses, daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. The conclusion of his examination was positive, as shown by his report, dated December 1, 1976:
The morphological examination concentrated on the following points:
1) Physical features of Nefertiti and Akhenaton that 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 six daughters of Akhenaton and Nefertiti are actually represented in the Mansoor Collection.
The detailed morphological analysis concentrated on eighteen pieces of the collection over a five month 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 + Archaeometry.
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 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 of 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' x 3 ½" head in pink limestone. Differences between the six princesses, represented in the Mansoor Collection by nine heads, are soley due to expression, with some individual differences of nose, chin, eyes, the ocipital, and the size of the neck. All heads are eury-, pseudodolichomorphic. Since they are still fairly young but have already attained at least ninety-five percent 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 statuette size 14 ½" x 6" x 3" and 8" x 3" x 2" 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. Aperson 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 artists, those pieces of the Mansoor Collection are also genuine.
Reiner Protsch (signed)
It is interesting to note here that sixteen years earlier in his report dated June 17, 1959, Dr. Jack DeMent had discussed and anticipated a similar approach to the problem as a possible additional test.
Following this important document, the Mansoors received in February 1976, another scientific report from Dr. Rainer Berger, Professor of Anthropology, Geography and geophysics, at UCLA, who had been familiar with every aspect of the problem for a number of years and had seen and examined many of the sculptures over an extended period of time. The conclusion of his examination was also on the positive side:
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. (Figs. are numbered according to catalog of A.Colonna, 1975).
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 wheras 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 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 receny, 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 longtime 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 impurity 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 that can give an unequivocal answer to the exact age in years when the Amarna sculptures of the Mansoor collections were carved.
However, the anthropometric analysis by R. Protsch lends considerable weight to the authenticity of this collection. Since the shape of the skull of the principal figure 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 that 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 theat the Mansoor pieces are real.
Rainer Berger (signed)
Dr. Pierre Bariand, Curator of the Mineral Collection at the Laboratoire de Minéralogie-Cristalographie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne), Paris, wrote on June 25, 1980, (cf. "In Defence . . ." p. 36) after examining three Mansoor Amarna objects (Nos. 19, 24 and 26):
L'éxamen de l'état de surface des matériaux ayant servi à la réalisation de ces objets montre une patine trés ancienne aboutissant à la conclusion que ces objets sont authentiques. L'aspect granulé de la patine respectant d'ailleurs l'etat des debris fossiles éxistant rend peu probable une imitation moderne.
Translated: Examination of the surface of these objects shows a very ancient patina leading to the conclusion that these objects are authentic. Moreover, the granulated appearance of the patina compared to fossil debris makes a modern imitation very unlikely.
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'aprés les travaux de géologie réalisé en Egypte, une localisation probable de ces matérieux serait: Luxor et Quena sur la vallée du Nil." (cf. "In Defence..." p. 38) Translated: "From geological work done in Egypt, a probable localization of the material (limestone) would be: Luxor and Quena in the Nile Valley."
Thus, while the dissident group and their followers were vegetating in their Middle-Age views, and while they were misbehaving, the scientists, the true Egyptologists, and the Mansoors were doing their duty toward one of the most magnificent groups of ancient Egyptian sculptured masterpieces to have ever been unearthed.
Copyright © 1995 Christine Mansoor
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