ISBN: 978-2-87457-127-5

Archaeological fakes and forgeries in Turkey

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by Ergün LAFLI, Maurizio BUORA, in Res Antiquae 18, 2021.

In this paper we present discussions on archaeological authenticity in Turkey, advanced both from scholarly as well as popular scientific point of views. In Turkey in the last five years a recent public debate has become on previously inconspicuous „archaeological fakes“. The problem was previously known, but not permanently entered in scientific research. It will probably still be a long way to go until Turkish archaeologists to deal with this matter in scientific terms with it and accept it as an important study area. Although Turkey is a key country for both originals, as well as for forgery production, we known little about which materials should be categorized as replicas or fakes, which objects were classified, what materials were faked, why and by whom. Very high is the expected number of forgeries of exhibits in local museums, including numerous lamps, coins, metal objects (especially silver) and gems. In international markets, we know there are several classes that have been forged in Turkey. It is particularly difficult to distinguish between authentic coins or modern fakes. In the last ten years there has been in the Turkish museums several forgery scandals: the last was the scandal of the Lydian golden brooches from the so-called “Treasure of Croesus” from the Museum of Uşak, which ultimately emerged in Germany. There are two explanations for the deceptions: either the Museum managers know nothing about them, or there are other reasons that they are presented as real exhibits. This paper is conducted at the end with a sampling catalogue for the reanalysis of the artifacts using multiple criteria for the determination of their non-authenticy.

Keywords: Archaeological fakes, forgeries, replicas, Turkey, Turkish museums
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