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The Lie Became Great (Studies in the Art and Archaeology of Antiquity) Hardcover – December 20, 2000

1 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'Muscarella presents his views with implacable passion...' Ellen Herscher, Archaeology Magazine.

About the Author

O.W. Muscarella, Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania, has excavated at numerous sites in both Turkey and Iran. He has been affiliated with the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1964. He has lectured and written numerous articles and books on the Ancient Near East.

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in the Art and Archaeology of Antiquity
  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Pub (December 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9056930419
  • ISBN-13: 978-9056930417
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,351,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Sergei on September 28, 2010
For work of a scholar, this book is surprisingly ill-argued. For its sheere number of unsubstantiated allegations it would probably appeal to conspiracy theorist more than any other reader. There is a clear lack of consistent criteria and methodology of what constitutes a forgery. What is not lacking, however, is the high moral tone adopted by OWM towards archaeologists colluding with dealers, museum staff bending truth to please museum donors... Generally understandable, but only if OWM's own track record in this regard was entirely spotless. Content-wise, most fakes in this book are well-known, and much better description / explanation can be provided by most antique dealers. Especially considering that most fakes were identified as such through inter-dealer competition or as part of financial disputes. In this sense, majority of OWM's information presented in this book is rather second-hand. Which also means he picks up the vibe when dealers spread unfounded rumours of forgery. Refer, for example, to the "Luristan Forgery" myth. I call it a "myth" because the only argument OWM can produce is "common knowledge". Origins of this knowledge remain unclear, while bronze forgeries are relatively easily detectable. This has been demonstrated time and again, through metallurgical and stylistic analyses - take the Ordos bronzes as an example. Resume - save your money and look for information elsewhere.
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I understand the author's outrage at plundered objects. Of course reprehensible. But I find myself sputtering with outrage at the rash, reckless assessments he makes of some of the art. Even when he proclaims himself "no expert" on art of certain cultures, pieces are deemed "obvious fakes" without reason, without evidence and working only from bad photographs. Other objects are cast in doubt by innuendo. The passion is there, but be wary of his conclusions, very wary.
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