The Fuente Magna Bowl: Still Fake
I was overwhelmed with a tsunami of work today, so I ran out of time for writing. I also received a number of emails today from readers who (a) believe I am Scott Wolter and want me to explore and/or promote their local rocks or (b) think I am Giorgio Tsoukalos and want to report on their alien abductions, have him explain their strange prophetic dreams, or buy one of his gold pre-Columbian “airplane” lapel pins. I can’t fathom how anyone can write to me on a website bearing my name and an email address that also features my name and not realize that I am not either Scott Wolter or Giorgio Tsoukalos. Since these emails have ranged into the hundreds over the last three years or so, what does this say about reading comprehension?
It also turns out that I am wrong (in a very minor way) about the Fuente Magna bowl, according to archaeologist Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews blogging over at Bad Archaeology. You’ll remember the Fuente Magna bowl as an alleged Sumerian (or proto-Sumerian) container discovered in Bolivia in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The object became famous in the fringe world after 2000 when it was featured in the documentary Atlantis in the Andes. I had described the object in reviewing Ancient Aliens S04E06 and stated that “no one paid attention to it until” the documentary. Fitzpatrick-Matthews would like everyone to know that this is not correct. A man named Mario Montaño Aragón wrote about its alleged cuneiform inscription in Raíces semíticas en la religiosidad aymará y kichua (Biblioteca Popular de Ultima Hora, 1979). Well obviously the claim had to come from somewhere! The accuracy of my statement depends on whether you agree that I was trying to state that the object wasn’t famous in fringe circles, not that no one wrote of it at all. I stand corrected in that someone did in fact refer to the bowl and its alleged inscription in 1979; I ought to have put “much” before “attention.” There are occasional references to the bowl here and there between 1979 and 2000, particularly in Spanish-language sources, but it didn’t become an object of widespread fringe speculation until after.
None of this changes the conclusion that the object is a fake. I agree entirely with Fitzpatrick-Matthews: “It looks to have been executed by someone who has seen a cuneiform text and is attempting to copy it onto a surface that they have no skill in working. To put it bluntly, it looks like a fake.”
Fitzpatrick-Matthews’s post is well worth the read. Be sure to check it out!
4/13/2015 11:46:51 am
I think it says a lot about the reading comprehension of the fans of those two individuals.
4/13/2015 12:11:17 pm
The bowl, from the photo, looks a whole lot like early 20th Century tourist or home decor tat. Orientalism and an interest in early archaeological expeditions not only in Egypt (as with Tut) but in the Middle East had, for better or worse, an effect upon popular taste at all economic levels.
4/13/2015 12:11:55 pm
3/15/2018 03:09:24 pm
Hmm...what if the "Fitzpatrick-Matthews" is the one who is spreading ignorance. Bad science stars with the scientist. Remember the many great discoveries in archeology and physics that were quickly dismissed by the scientist because it went against the dogmatic views.
3/15/2018 08:15:35 pm
Fitzpatrick-Matthews may be wrong. I also wrote about this apparent fraud of an artifact (http://ahotcupofjoe.net/2017/11/fuente-magna-bowl-not-cuneiform-not-sumerian/).
4/13/2015 12:57:41 pm
You know, Jason, if you wanted a vacation (both physically and from reality) you go out and look at someone's rocks. Show up, look stern, with a iron jaw and glint in your eye. Hammer on the rocks for thirty-seven seconds and then, in a grave voice say "This will change history. These carving show that Henry Sinclair was here and claimed all of the land around here for the Knights Templar. He buried this land claim, so that six hundred years later it could be found by you."
4/13/2015 03:41:23 pm
Maybe they think you're an advocate of pseudo history and think you can help them with their delusions.Pseudo history attracts the ignorant.They're not aware of the bullshit they've been feed by these con artist.It seems pseudo history/archaeology is the real "mainstream" now than real archaeology.
4/13/2015 07:01:00 pm
"It looks to have been executed by someone who has seen a cuneiform text and is attempting to copy it..." (Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews)
4/13/2015 07:21:57 pm
I say publish the craziest letters, have bit of fun with it.
4/22/2015 09:21:58 am
Are you saying then that all the carvings and sculptures found at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Sumeria, Persia, Ecuador, Bolivia - all featuring what looks like a handbag - must all be fakes? If so then what is it that Aldi have on special in Australia from tomorrow which looks the same and only Aussie$199?
4/21/2016 01:36:08 pm
smells and looks like a fake
A kind friend
8/24/2018 11:53:41 pm
2/27/2017 12:01:58 pm
I never noticed the Bad Archaeology post on the bowl until today (the bowl is making its rounds again on Facebook), but apparently I also got something wrong according to Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews when I stated that the bowl has no provenience ("None. Nada. Zilch. We have anecdotes of it being discovered."
12/7/2017 02:26:48 pm
So, since you can find a town or village/city to tie it to it must be fake. Do you have the same opinion for the Helicopter in the ceiling support beam in a building Ramses had built. what about the dead sea scrolls and the other texts in that cave find the place to get their origin? those goat herders most have made them too.Remember it is not as it appears more then it is what you first think.
12/7/2017 02:55:42 pm
There are a lot of reasons for it to be fake, but I don't think I've every suggested that because it's tied to a village it must be fake.
3/2/2017 10:50:12 am
I think the resemblance to cuneiform is just coincidence,
4/26/2018 01:37:41 pm
You Sir are an Asshole. I suppose if I looked like you, I would be to.
11/26/2018 02:06:29 pm
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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