Some famous archeological finds that were proven to be fake

It is not uncommon for curators of galleries receiving huge amounts of donated artifacts to find the occasional fake or fraudulent ones. However authentic-looking these antiquities or ancient art are, the keen-eyed gallery staff should be able to distinguish the rip-offs from the truly collectible. But history has seen quite a few bogus archeological “finds.” Here are some of the most popular and most documented.

Crystal Skulls

These famed skulls, thought be ancient artifacts from the Mayan or Aztec societies, were made popular worldwide in an Indiana Jones film. They indeed look both intriguing and fascinating. But Smithsonian anthropologist examining them using powerful microscopes found out in 2005 that the cuts into the crystal showed evidence of modern techniques: both the cuts and grooves were done with modern lapidary wheels, and the skulls themselves were polished using modern machinery. They were created by European craftsmen in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Kensington Runestone

A farmer in Kensington, Minnesota, claimed to have discovered stones near the town that showed strange runes. This was in 1898, and more than a century later, scholars who have studied the stone claim that the runes were carved by 14th-century Vikings. However, modern findings prove that the stone was in fact created in the 19th century, and do not match other runes from the medieval era.

The Donation of Constantine

This is a well-documented case of a forged document that has been replicated over and over since the 8th century. It states that Roman emperor Constantine I gave Pope Sylvester I and all his successors ultimate authority over lands controlled by the Roman Empire. This powerful document was excessively used by the said pope during the Middle ages to prove that he held authority over the rulers of Europe. Italian scholar Lorenzo Valla denounced the document in the 15th century.


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Family-owned ancient art gallery Sadigh Gallery in New York provides affordable ancient artworks and coins for collectors of every level. With convivial service, it has been good friends with many of their decades-long customers. For more on the gallery’s services, visit this website.


About Sadigh Gallery

Sadigh Gallery is a family-owned art gallery specializing in ancient artifacts and coins from around the world. The gallery was established in 1978 as a small mail order company which was operated by one man, Michael Sadigh. After achieving much success, he then moved to the current location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1982. Our focus is on providing affordable ancient antiquities and friendly, down-to-earth service. As a family-owned business, we greatly treasure the interaction with our customers. A large portion of our customers have been with us for 10 to 20 years, and we are grateful that they have become good friends, rather than simple business partners. We pride in providing quality service to each and every one of our customers, and their satisfaction matters most to us. If you have any questions, concerns, or any other comments regarding our merchandises or services, feel free to call us at your convenience. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority! All of our antiquities are guaranteed authentic, and all items are sent with a Lifetime Certificate of Authenticity. We provide secure packing to ensure safe delivery. Contact us for more information, or to receive one of our FREE CATALOG today. Contact Information: 303 Fifth Avenue Suite 1603 New York, NY 10016 Toll Free (800)426-2007 Tel (212)725-7537 E-mail: Web Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00AM – 8:00PM Open on Sundays by appointment only. Closed on Saturdays.
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