UPDATE: Bob Cargill examines the digital enhancement of the photograph in detail HERE. It is a very detailed post, suggesting that the pictures in the book have been manipulated so that the image is viewed straight on instead of from an angle. This change of perspective makes the image look more like a fish than the original photograph, he argues.
All of this leaves me puzzled. I am not sure what to make of any of this. I don't see a tower because it would have to be upside down on the ossuary if it were a tower. Nor do I see a vase because vases do not have a small round knob as a base. If it is a vase, it is one that would not be able to stand on its own. I think we need to entertain as many options as we can. What else could it be?
UPDATE 2: James Tabor left this in the comments:
The charges of manipulation and alteration are simply false. There are no doctored photos and the "fish," no matter how it is positioned, is a fish... Those who have objected that a fish would not be nose down have missed the main point--the notion of Jonah being vomited on the land. Fish don't swim in tail first...again, see my latest blog post. The perfume bottle will not fly. We know what those flasks looked like in that time and culture, and even the Persian examples that Tom and others site do not look like fish. Lots of comments on the ASOR blog.UPDATE 3: Tom Verenna's link to a discussion of vases can be found HERE. Some very interesting comparisons, although the top part of the figure looks more like a tail fin to me than the top of a vase. What I would really like to see is more examples of artwork on ossuaries. What are the common patterns? How does this ossuary compare to others? Are vases common drawings on ossuaries? If so, do they look like this figure?