Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Scales of a fish on the Talpiot ossuary?
Although my comments on the Talpiot ossuary B have focused so far on other issues, there is one thing I've been curious about in relation to the "fish" interpretation. If this is a fish, why do the designs in its body change from rectangles, to shaded and non-shaded triangles, to "Y" shapes? Is it more likely that these are several different attempts to depict fish scales, one row at a time, or is it more likely that they are simple ornamentation, as on a vessel of some sort?
My curiosity is aroused by the fact that the design in the middle segment* -- shaded and unshaded triangles -- is apparently the same design as the ossuary's decorative border, also shaded and unshaded triangles. I have drawn attention to these elements in the picture above, which I have also rotated by ninety degrees so that it fits on the page better. I think it is more likely that we are seeing a decorative design on the border that correlates with the same decorative design on the object, rather than that the decorative design on the border contrasts with the scales of a "fish".
* I am speaking here of the middle section in the raw footage, which features three main segments, rather than the doctored image, which features four.