Joe Nickell

in Real or Fake

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125343
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135229 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter begins by discussing the discoveries of several treasures and their authentication — from the unearthing of the legendary city Urkesh in Syria to the finding of a fragment of Hitler's skull by the Russians. As an authentication specialist, the author presents some of his findings and his own authentications. He also details how his world of authentication began, his early discoveries, his school life, the jobs that he had, and the books that he wrote. This chapter also discusses the various factors to be considered used in authenticating an artefact — provenance, content, material composition, and the results of scientific analyses. A few practical principles are applied so as not to allow bias to creep in when making authentications. First is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Second, that the simplest tenable explanation is most likely correct. Lastly, that the burden of proof is on the advocate of the idea.

Keywords: authentication; claims; provenance; content; material composition; scientific analyses; proof; bias

Chapter.  4353 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at University Press of Kentucky »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.