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TikTok account appears to delete video amid criticism for intentionally shattering ‘3,000-year-old pottery artifact’

By Gino Spocchia
TikTok / @oodhamboiii / @engineerlabs

Condemnation of a TikTok video that allegedly shows a “3,000-year-old” pot getting smashed intentionally has led to one account on the platform deleting the video.

TikTok user EngineerLabs, who describe themselves as an American company manufacturing “science-related gifts”, originally posted the clip of an “ancient artifact” getting smashed earlier this week.

The video showed an unnamed white man taking a pot from a draw labelled “Indus Vallery. Terracotta (Cradle of Civilisation”, and the person throwing the same pot on the floor.

“This pottery made it 3,000 years without breaking,” a caption to the now deleted added.

While it was unclear at the time if the pot actually was excavated from the South Asian region that was home to the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, the message behind the clip was immediately condemned by TikTok users.

“Notice how dispensable other people’s artifacts/cultures are to yt people,” argued TikTok user @oodhamboiii, who reshaped the since deleted clip.

Another added in the comments: “It doesn’t matter the justification or whether it was real or not. The mere fact of posting content like this is so harmful”.

“This tiktok made me nauseous, thinking about how many other things they’ve destroyed so carelessly just because they ‘had too many’ “, another commented.

Many others also believed the “3,000-year-old” pot could not be genuine.

In a statement toThe Independent, EngineerLabs said it regretted sharing the since-deleted video and spreading “misinformation”, because the pot was actually a replica.

“As you can probably imagine, there are countless fakes and counterfeit ‘artifacts’ out there. Unfortunately, the person who made the video didn’t specify that, instead calling it a ‘3000 year old artifact’ merely to grab attention,” the statement said.

“So, we really have no one to blame for the misinformation except ourselves. Obviously, we wouldn’t break a pristine cultural artifact just for a TikTok video. The entire situation is unfortunate and we can’t stay ahead of the misinformation we created.”

The company does use Indus Valley Terracotta from Pakistan in its displays, which it said “are already broken in small pieces. However, this ‘3000 year old artifact’ was a replica.” 

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