Forging antiquities: the case of papyrus fakes

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Forged papyrus manuscripts from Egypt, usually written in Greek, Coptic Egyptian or simulated scripts have existed since the Renaissance, and continue to be produced and sold to the present day. This chapter examines the production, distribution and detection of fake papyri, as well as the narratives of discovery and authentication that surround them. While prosecutions for forging papyri have been rare, in part because the forgers themselves are usually anonymous, a number of high-profile recent cases have illustrated the disputes that fake papyri can cause.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook on art crime
EditorsSaskia Hufnagel, Duncan Chappell
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781137544056
ISBN (Print)9781137544049
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Forgery
  • Papyrus
  • Antiquities
  • fakes
  • Forgeries
  • Papyri
  • Papyr forgery
  • History of papyri crimes
  • Authentication


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