Probably NOT a Hittite carved hedgehog

This photo has been shared online many times claiming to show a Hittite carved crystal hedgehog, from Anatolia, ca. 1500 B.C.E.

Although the Hittites did indeed make some stunning crystal sculptures, this one stood out as being extraordinary and I wanted to check if it was real.

I am no expert on the matter but it just seemed machine made and rather modern.
No museum, no gallery, no archaeology journal has mentioned it anywhere, there is nothing in Turkish or English to be found.

The oldest and only source of this image is a tumblr post by user willigula from August the 29th, 2016. dating back to 2016 with the added description of “My dad has weird things in his house”, suggesting that the object belongs to the father of the person who took the picture and shared it.
I managed to trace the owner of the Tumblr account and asked this Mr. Herold about the origin of the crystal hedgehog.

Mr. Herold repeated that the crystal belongs to his father who collects Anatolian antiquities.

But when I asked him to ask his father more about where the object came from and perhaps take another photo for me Mr. Herold stopped responding.
Even when I told him I would assume the origin of the item was dubious and most likely fake if he kept ignoring my requests for more information , he did not respond even though he had received my messages.

Upon close examination you can clearly see that a perfect tunnel has been bored into the hedgehog, suggesting it is a bead or a necklace.
I think that this could just a modern craft and hobby bead.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to trace the origin of the actual object.

So at the moment I have to stick with being highly doubtful of its description as being a Hittite carving but I can’t quite prove it.
If someone recognises this bead or can actually show me evidence that it is indeed a Hittite carving please let me know, being unsure is driving me mad.

If you see the picture shared online with a claim of authenticity, please direct the person posting it to this article.

Picture(s) found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to this picture, I only share it here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.

If the copyright owner objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall remove it right away.

4 thoughts on “Probably NOT a Hittite carved hedgehog

  1. The comment that this crystal hedgehog is “fake” is just another unprofessional remark by people who think they know truth and desire to put scholars in their place. I am the owner and researcher of this item. It was found in southeast Anatolia in the later 20th century and studied by the late Dr. David Liebert who passed it on to me for more research. It is quite consistent with the style of the first half of the second millennium BC when there was a large increase in carved crystal beads, seals and amulets from small alluvial pebbles in the Tigrus-Euphrates region. Southeast Anatolia was at this time part of the growing Hittite empire and so technically it is Hittite, although I feel it is more closely related to north Syrian art. Published exhibits such as “Ebla to Damascus” show the use of the hedgehog in ritual and secular art from the fourth to first millennia BC in this area. I have always told my students to say little until they know the facts of the issue.


    1. Good thing that the article doesn’t claim it’s a fake.
      And the only reason it says it MIGHT be fake is because the owner failed to provide any evidence for its providence and then stopped responding, so it’s great to finally have that contact.
      I’ve gone through all 554 pages of the “Ebla to Damascus” exhibit catalogue by Harvey Weiss from 1985 but haven’t found the hedgehog unfortunately.
      There’s also no mention of a crystal hedgehog in the text.
      Is it perhaps in another publication?


  2. I dare to say, it is fake. Steve Herold, the ‘scholar’, also claims to have a real Golden Fleece from 1559 from the Netherlands. He published nice and long stories to prove it’s Genuineness, but without any really hard prove. Even after exposure by real experts he keeps on believing his own fantasies. He even offended the ones who discovered the fake fleece. I have prove of this and wrote an article about this in Dutch, which is my native language.


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