The Harrogate Vase, for those of you have not been following this blog, is a Naqada II vase currently residing in a UK museum, for which I have formed a particular interest (no accounting for people's interests!). It has a unique depiction of a burial - a contracted figure on a boat. The boat is fairly typical, but the burial painting is unique to this vase and the vase has therefore been regarded with some suspicion in the past, as a possible fake. It was announced several weeks ago that the vase would undergo tests - and then nothing! No news followed. I couldn't wait any longer so I emailed Dr Buckley, not expecting a reply, but he has been generous enough to get back to me with a detailed response.
So the news is that the vase itself seems typically Naqada II in the type of decoration (apart from the dead figure) and stylistic organization, and in the composition of the fabric of the vase itself. The big question lies in whether or not the dead figure was painted in later to make it a more alluring proposition for sale. At the moment this is still unanswered - Dr Buckley is analysing miniscule samples and is taking the time to set things up properly. There is still a lot of scepticism, but hopefully the testing of the pigment will prove things one way or another. Dr Buckley may well wish to publish his findings, so the results may have to wait until his paper is published, but if he decides to provide information before that time I'll update the blog.