Forging Antiquity

The website for the Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Forging Antiquity: Authenticity, forgery and fake papyri

Forgeries known to the project

We provide here a list of those fake papyri and related manuscripts which have come to the notice of the project so far. We provide it here as a preliminary resource for those who are interested, in advance of a fully searchable database which is currently being constructed. The table below pull data directly from the Google Sheet in which informaiton on fakes is currently stored. While sorting and filtering are not possible within this frame, material can be searched for by using CNTRL+F /CMD+F functions. Papyri and related texts are cited by papyrological siglum where one exists (according to the Checklist of Editions at, or according to the details of the work in which they are discussed. A full bibliography of works cited may be found below the table.

The “Typology” column contains the classification of the forgeries into the categories established within the project. While most of the categories are self-explanatory, a full description of this typology is also available.

In accordance with the general parameters of the project, the list below consists of forgeries from (or allegedly from) Egypt on papyrus and related material (ostraca, tablets, etc). It thus largely excludes (a) epigraphic forgeries; and (b) forgeries from locations other than Egypt. For this reason it does not includes texts such as the post-2002 “Dead Sea Scroll-like” fragments which are well covered by other projects.

This list largely consists of those forgeries which have been published, mentioned in print, or featured in online reposititories. We are aware that there are many more papyrus forgeries in collections throughout the world, and would be very grateful to receive information on them (and also images of them, if possible). Please send information on such fakes to


Below is a working version of our project Bibliography, not a completed version.

Note: For Editions and Sigla, please refer to the Checklist of Editions at

Amundsen (1935) = Amundsen, L. (1935) Greek Ostraca in the University of Michigan Collection. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.

Arlt (2011) = Arlt, C. (2011) Deine Seele Möge Leben für Immer und Ewig, Die demotischen Mumienschilder im British Museum (Studia Demotica 10). Leuven: Peeters.

Askeland (2014) = Askeland, C. (2014). “A Fake Coptic John and Its Implications for the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’”, Tyndale Bulletin 65, pp. 1–10.

Askeland (2015) = Askeland, C. (2015). “A Lycopolitan Forgery of John’s Gospel”, New Testament Studies 61, pp. 314–334.

Bagnall et al. (1980) = Bagnall, R., Sijpesteijn, P. J. and Worp, K. A. (1980) Greek Ostraka. A Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Ostraka in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden. Zutphen: Terra. P. 182, descr. 604

Bailey (2008) = Bailey, D. (2008) Catalogue of the Terracottas in the British Museum vol. 4: Ptolemaic and Roman Terracottas from Egypt. London: The British Museum.

Bailey (1996) = Bailey, D. (1996) Archaeological Research in Roman Egypt: the Proceedings of the Seventeenth Classical Colloquium of the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, held on 1–4 December, 1993 (Journal of Roman Archaeology suppl. series 19). Ann Arbor: Journal of Roman Archaeology.

Barratte & Boyaval (1979) = Baratte, F. and Boyaval, B. (1979) ‘Catalogue des étiquettes de momies du Musée du Louvre’, Cahiers de Recherches de l’Institut de Papyrologie et d’Egyptologie de Lille, 5, 5, pp. 237–287.

Bell (1927) = Bell, H. I. (1927) ‘Alexandria’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 13, pp. 171–184.

Bellet (1982) = Bellet, P. (1982) ‘Anthologica Palatina 9.538, the alphabet and the calligraphic examination in the Coptic Scriptorium’, Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, 19, pp. 1–7.

Bernhard (2015) = Bernhard, A. (2015). “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Textual Evidence of Modern Forgery”, New Testament Studies 61, pp. 335–355.

Bernhard (2017) = Bernhard, A. (2017). “Postscript: A Final Note about the Origin of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”, New Testament Studies 63, pp. 305–317.

Bingen (1988) = Bingen, J. (1988) ‘Les “Fayum Tablets” de faux abécédaires grecs archaïques’, Chronique d’Égypt, 63, pp. 315–316.

Bingen, J. (1994) ‘Deux stèles chrétiennes de l’ex-collection Michaelidès: S.B. X 10515 et 10516’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 100, pp. 319–320.

Borchardt, L. (1902) ‘Harpokrates mit dem Topf’, Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 40, p. 98.

Brown (2017) = Brown, I.P. (2017). “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Version as updated March 2017., accessed 22 June 2017.

Boyaval (1974) = Boyaval, B. (1974) ‘Catalogue des étiquettes des momies du Musée du Louvre’, Cahiers de Recherches de l’Institut de Papyrologie et d’Egyptologie de Lille, 2, 2, pp. 155–264.

Boyaval (1975) = Boyaval, B. (1975) ‘Catalogue des étiquettes de momies du Musée Louvre II’, Cahiers de Recherches de l’Institut de Papyrologie et d’Egyptologie de Lille, 3, pp. 153–261.

Boyaval (1980) = Boyaval, B. (1980) ‘SB XII, 11190’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 38, p. 216.

Brown (ed.) (1957) = Brown, B. R. (1957) Ptolemaic Paintings and Mosaics and the Alexandrian Style (Monographs on Archaeology and Fine Arts, 6). Cambridge: Archaeological Institution of America.

Chauveau & Cuvigny (1978) = Chauveau & Cuvigny (1987) = Chauveau, M. and Cuvigny, H. (1987) ‘Les étiquettes de momies de la collection Frochner’, Cahiers de Recherches de l’Institut de Papyrologie et d’Égyptologie de Lille, 9, pp. 71–80.

Chauveau (1987) = Chauveau, M. (1987) Les Étiquettes de Momies Démotiques et Bilingues du Musée du Louvre.

Chauveau (1991) = Chauveau, M. (1991) ‘Les étiquettes de momies de la “NY Carlsberg Glyptotek”’, Bulletin de l‘Institut français d‘archéologie orientale, 91, pp. 135–146.

Choat (2014) = Choat, M. (2014) ‘The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife: A Preliminary Paleographical Assessment’, Harvard Theological Review, 107, pp. 60–62.

Clarysse (2014) = Clarysse, W. et al (2014) ‘Mummy Labels from Graeco-Roman Egypt in National Museums Scotland, England CdE 89 (2014) 356–375’, Chronique d’Égypte, 89, pp. 356–375.

Clarysse (1980) = Clarysse, W. (1980) ‘Forgeries and Ghost Names’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 40, pp. 76–77.

Coles & Gallazzi (1981) = Coles, R. A. and Gallazzi, C. (1981) ‘Papyri and Ostraka: Alterations and Counterfeits’, in E. Bresciani et al. (ed.) Scritti in onore di Orsolina Montevecchi. Bologna: Clueb, pp. 99–105.

Cook (ed.) (1996) = Cook, B. (1966) Inscribed Hadra Vases in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cribiore (1996) = Cribiore, R. (1996) Writing, Teachers, and Students in Graeco Roman Egypt. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

Cromwell (2015) = Cromwell, J. (2015) ‘Coptic writing exercises in the Petrie Museum with a concordance of its published coptic texts’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 195, pp. 205–218.

Crum & Evelyn-White (1926) = Crum, W. E. and Evelyn-White, H. G. (1926) The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes 2: Greek Ostraka and Papyri. New York: Arno Press.

Curtis et al. (2005) = Curtis, N. G. W., Kockelmann, H. and Munro, I. (2005) ‘The Collection of Book of the Dead Manuscripts in Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. A Comprehensive Overview’, Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 105, pp. 49–73.

Cuvigny, H. (1998) ‘Bouchons cachetés des fouilles d’Adolphe Reinach à Coptos’, Bulletin des Musées et Monuments Lyonnais, 4, p. 6.

Devauchelle, & Quaegebeur (1981) = Devauchelle, D. and Quaegebeur, J. (1981) ‘Étiquettes des momies démotiques et bilingues de l’IFAO’, Bulletin de l‘Institut français d‘archéologie orientale, 81, pp. 359–377.

Depuydt (2014) = Depuydt, L. (2014) ‘The Alleged Gospel of Jesus’s Wife: Assessment and Evaluation of Authenticity’, Harvard Theological Review, 107, pp. 172–189.

di Cerbo (2014) = di Cerbo, C. (2014) ‘Seven Offering Tables and a Mummy Label from the Magazines of Luxor Temple’, in Sandra, L. L., Stadler, M. A., and Jakobeit, U. (eds) Gehilfe des Thot. Festschrift für Karl-Theodor Zauzich zu seinem 75. Geburtstag. Wiesbaden: Harrassowit, pp. 21–27.

Dieleman (2010) = Dieleman, J. (2010) ‘Cryptography at the Monastery of Deir el Bachit (Ostracon Bachit 21)’, Oreintalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 194, pp. 511–518.

Dunand, F. (1979) Les terres cuites isiaqies du Musée du Caire = EPRO 76. Leiden: Brill.

Emmel, S. (2014). “The Codicology of the New Coptic (Lycopolitan) Gospel of John Fragment (and Its Relevance for Assessing the Genuineness of the Recently Published Coptic ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ Fragment) [2014]”, Posted 22 June 2014.

Fraser (1967) = Fraser, P. M. (1967) ‘Some Alexandrian Forgeries’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 47(243–250).

Funghi et al. (eds) (2012) = Funghi, M. S., Savorelli, G. M. and Römer, C. (2012) Ostraca greci e bilingui del Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (O. Petr. Mus.). Firenze: Edizioni Gonnelli.

Gallazzi (1979) = Gallazzi, C. (1979) ‘Un papiro falso con un frammento di Bione’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 34, 34, pp. 55–58.

Gallazzi (1982) = Gallazzi, C. (1982) ‘O.Lund.30/32’, Bibliotheca orientalis, 39, p. 579.

Gastgeber (2001) = Gastgeber, C. (2001) Kopie und Fälschung. Graz: Adeva Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt.

Gilliam (1966) = Gilliam, J. F. (1966) ‘Leather Scrolls from Alexandria’, in Essays in honour of C. Bradford Welles. New Haven: American Society of Papyrologists, pp. 112–120.

Gueraud & Kuentz (1936) = Gueraud, O. and Kuentz, C. (1936) ‘Le crépuscule d’un dieu. Harpocrate Χρενιβοπάστης’, Annales du service des antiquités de l’Égypte, 36, pp. 115–136.

Györy (2002) = Györy, H. (2002) ‘Les terres cuites d’Harpocrate-au-faucon-sur-le-pilier’, in Györy, H. and Mrav, Z. (eds) Acta Symposii anno 2000 = Aegyptus et Pannonia. Budapest, p. 94.

Hess (1892) = Hess, J. J. (1892) ‘Demotica’, Zeitschrift für ägyptische sprache und altertumskunde, 30, pp. 119–121.

Heubeck (1986) = Heubeck, A. (1986) ‘Die Würzburger Alphabettafel’, Würzburger Jahrbucher für die Altertumswissenschaft, 12, pp. 7–20.

Hoffmann, F. (2000) Ägypten, Kultur und Lebenswelt in Griechisch-Römischer Zeit, eine Darstellung nach den Demotischen Quellen. Berlin: Akademie.

Horak (1991) = Horak, U. (1991) ‘Fälschungen auf Papyrus, Pergament, Papier und Ostraka’, Tyche, 6, pp. 91–98.

Iconomopoulos (1889) = Iconomopoulos, D. (1889) ‘Le jeux gymniques de Panopolis’, Revue des études grecques, 2(6), pp. 164–168.

Kaplony (2005) = Kaplony, P. (2005) ‘Geistige Kinder. Zu einem Zitat aus der Lehre des Cheti in der römischen Kaiserzeit’, GM, 204, pp. 57–77.

King (2014) = King, K. L. (2014) ‘’Jesus said to them, “My wife…”: A new Coptic Papyrus Fragment’, Harvard Theological Review, 107.

Kirwan (1933) = Kirwan, L. P. (1933) ‘Some Roman Mummy Tickets’, Annales du Service des antiquités des l’Égypte, 33, pp. 54–58.

Knudtzon (unpublished dissertation) (1946) = Knudtzon, E. J. (1946) Ostraca Lundensia. Lund. [unpublished dissertation]

Kockelmann (2008) = Kockelmann, H. (2008) Untersuchungen zu den späten Totenbuch-Handschriften auf Mumienbinden. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag.

Krebs (1894) = Krebs, F. (1894) ‘Griechische Mumientikette aus Ägypten’, Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 32, pp. 36–51.

Krüger & Bistrikowa (1969) = Krüger, O. and Bistrikowa, M. (1969) ‘Неизданные папирусы и другие тексты Государственного Эрмитажа и Музея изобразительных искусств им. А.С. Пушкина’, Vestnik Drevnei istorii (Вестник древней истории), 110(4), pp. 138–145.

Krüger & Bistrikowa (1965) = Krüger, O. and Bistrikowa, M. (1965) ‘Неизданные папирусы и другие тексты Государственного Эрмитажа’, Vestnik Drevnei istorii (Вестник древней истории), 92(2), pp. 103–106.

Lanzone (1886) = Lanzone, R. V. (1881–1886) Dizionario di mitologia egizia. Turin: Litografia fratelli Doyen.

Lauch (1951) = Lauch, E. (1951) ‘Eine echt hellenistische Grabschrift’, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 76, pp. 661–668.

Lejeune (1988) = Lejeune, M. (1988) ‘De suprenants abécédaires (résumé)’, Comptes rendus de l’Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 132(1), p. 144.

Lenormant (1867) = Lenormant, F. (1867) ‘Apochae duae graeco-egyptiacae ineditae’, Philologus, 25, p. 531.

Lucarelli & Müller-Roth (2013) = Lucarelli, R. and Müller-Roth, M. (2013) ‘Forgeries for the Dead: fake specimens of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead’, Internet-Beiträge zur Ägyptologie und Sudanarchäologie, 15, pp. 41–50.

Lüddeckens (1955) = Lüddeckens, E. (1955) Die Mumienschilder des Kestner-Museums zu Hannover. Mainz-Wiesbaden: F. Steiner.

Malaise (1994) = Malaise, M. (1994) ‘Questions d’iconographie harpocratique soulevées par des terres cuites d’Égypte gréco-romaine’, in C. Berger (ed.), Études isiaques. Homages à Jean Leclant vol. 3 = BdE 106.3, 106.3, p. 378.

Marganne (2007) = Marganne, M. (2007) ‘Les Archives Photographiques de Papyrologie Littéraire du CEDOPAL’, in Marganne, M. (ed.) Papyrus et papyrologie à l’Université de Liège (Cahiers du CEDOPAL, 5). 5th edn. Liège: CEDOPAL, pp. 80–87.

Meeks (1993) = Meeks, D. (1993) ‘Deux papyrus funéraires de Marseille (Inv. 292 et 5323). À propos de quelques personnages thébains’, in Karpieskaja, E. G. and Kovaljev, A. A. (eds) Ancient Egypt and Kush. Moscow: Oriental Literature, pp. 290–305.

Merkelbach (1958) = Merkelbach, R. (1958) ‘Die Hesiodfragmente auf Papyrus. Mit Lichtdrucktafeln’, Archiv für Papyrusforschung, 16, pp. 26–81.

Michaïlides (1949) = Michaïlides, G. (1949) ‘Vase en terre cuite portant une inscription philosophique grecque’, BIFAO, 49, 49, pp. 23–44.

Milne (1905) = Milne, J. (1905) Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, Nos..9201-9400, 26001-26123, 33001-33037, Greek inscriptions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Möller (1913) = Möller, G. (1913) Mumienschilder (Dem. Texte Kön. Mus. Berlin). Leipzig.

Nachtergael (1978) = Nachtergael, G. (1978) ‘La collection Marcel Hombert: Timbres amphoriques et autres documents écrits acquis en Egypte’, Papyrologica Bruxellensia, 15, p. 80.

Nachtergael (2003) = Nachtergael, G. (2003) ‘Étiquettes de momies. Éditions, notes critiques, biliographie.’, Chronique d’Égypte, 78, pp. 251–276.

Nachetergael (2004) = Nachtergael, G. (2004) ‘Sur la provenance de quelques Ostraca de la Lund Collection’, Ricerche di egittologia e di antichità copte, 6, p. 91.

Néroutsos-Bey (1887) = Néroutsos-Bey, M. (1887) ‘Inscriptions Greques et Latines Recueillies dans la ville d’Aexandrue et aux environs’, Revue Archéologique, 3, (3), pp. 61–68.

Oates et al. (1967) = Oates, J. F. et al. (1967) Yale Papyri in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 1. New Haven and Toronto: American Society of Papyrologists.

Omont (1901) = Omont, H. (1901) ‘Le recueil d’anciennes écritures de Pierre Hamon (1566–1567)’, Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes, 62, pp. 57–73.

Pagenstecher (1913) = Pagenstecher, R. (1913) Expedition Ernst von Sieglin, Ausgrabungen in Alexandria vol. 2: Die griechisch-ägyptische Sammlung. Leipzig: Giesecke & Devrient.

Parássoglou (1974) = Parássoglou, G. M. (1974) ‘Artificial Manuscripts and Magical Papyri’, Studia Papyrologica, 13, pp. 57–60.

Parlasca & Frenz (2003) = Parlasca, K. and Frenz, H. G. (2003) Repertorie d’arte dell’Egitto greco-romano, a cura di Achille Adriani. Series 2. Rome: ‘L’Erma’ di Bretschneider.

Parlasca, Berger & Pintaudi (1985) = Parlasca, K., Berger, J.-E. and Pintaudi, R. (1985) El-Fayyum. Milan: Ricci.

Parlasca (1976) = Parlasca, K. (1976) ‘Pseudo-Alexandrian Shoes – Fake Paintings on Hadra vases, with 4 illustrations’, Archäologischer Anzeiger, 91, p. 83.

Peterson (ed.) (1964) = Peterson, T. C. (1964) A Collection of Papyri: Egyptian, Greek, Coptic, Arabic. New York: Kraus.

Pinto (2013) = Pinto, P. M. (2013). Il falso Eschilo di Simonidis. G. Bastianini and A. Casanova (Edd.), I Papiri Di Eschilo e Sofocle. Atti Del Convegno Internazionale Di Studi. Firenze, 14-15 Giugno 2012, Firenze.

Preisigke (1915) = Preisigke, F. (1915) Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Ägypten. Strasbourg: K. J. Trübner.

Puech (1955) = Puech, H.-C. (1955) ‘Un logion de Jésus sur bandelette funéraire’, Revue d’Histoire des Religions, 147, pp. 126–128.

Revillout (1880) = Revillout, E. (1880) ‘Planchettes Bilingues’, Revue Égyptologique, 7, pp. 29–39.

Ritschl (1872) = Ritschl, F. W. (1872) ‘Aeschylus’ Perser in Aegypten: ein neues Simonideum’, Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, 27, pp. 114–126.

Robert & Robert (1951) = Robert, L. and Robert, J. (1951) ‘Bulletin épigraphique’, REG, 64, p. 210.

Sandri (2010) = Sandri, S. (2010) ‘Echt oder falsch? Hieroglyphische Inschriften auf gräko-ägyptischen Terrakotten’, CE, 84, pp. 314–330.

Satzinger (1994) = Satzinger, H. (1994) Das Kunsthistorische Museum in Wien. Die ägyptisch-orientalische Sammlung vol. 14. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.

Sijpesteijn (1968) = Sijpesteijn, P. J. (1968) Oudheidkundige Mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leiden. p. 3, no. 121.

Simon (1975) = Simon, E. (1975) Führer durch die Antikenabteilung des Martin von Wagner Museums der Universität Würzburg. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.

Simonides (1861) = Simonides, K. (1861) Fac-similes of certain portions of the Gospel of St. Matthew, and of the Epistles of Ss. James & Jude: written on papyrus in the first century, and preserved in the Egyptian museum of Joseph Mayer, Esq. Liverpool. London: Trübner.

Simonides (1864a) = Simonides, K. (1864) The Periplus of Hannon, King of the Karchedonians, concerning the Lybian parts of the Earth beyond the Pillars of Herakles, which he dedicated to Kronos, the greatest God, and to all the Gods dwelling with him. London: Trübner.

Srasser (2004) = Strasser, J.-Y. (2004) ‘Les Olympia d’Alexandrie et le pancratiaste M. Aur. Asklèpiadès’, Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 128–129, pp. 465–468.

Tait (ed.) (1930) = Tait, J. G. (1930) Greek ostraca in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and various other collections. vol. 1. London: Egypt Exploration Society.

Thompson (1982) = Thompson, D. (1982) Mummy Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Mailbu: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Tovar & Worp (2013) = Tovar, S. T. and Worp, K. A. (2013) ‘New Wooden Labels from Various Collections’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 184, pp. 257–270.

van Haelst (1976) = van Haelst, J. (1976) Catalogue des Papyrus Littéraires Juifs et Chrétiens. Paris: Sorbonne.

van Rengen (1971) = van Rengen, W. (1971) ‘Les jeux de Panopolis’, Chronique d’Égypte, 46, p. 136–141.

Vandenbeusch (2010) = Vandenbeusch, M. (2010) Catalogue des bandelettes de momies. Geneva: Société d’Égyptologie.

Vleeming (2011) = Vleeming, S. P. (2011) Demotic and Greek-Demotic mummy labels and other short texts gathered from many publications (Short Texts II 278-1200). Leuven: Peeters.

Wagner et al. (1990) = Wagner, G. et al. (1990) ‘Documents grecs découverts dans la Vallée des Reines, I [avec 1 planche]’, Bulletin De L’Institut Français D’Archéologie Orientale, 90, p. 1990.

Walker (2000) = Walker, S. (2000) Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt. exh. cat. New York: Routledge.

Wiedemann (1883) = Wiedemann, A. (1883) ‘Zum Fund von Der el Bahari’, Zeitschrift für ägyptische sprache und altertumskunde, 21, pp. 123–126.

Worp (2012) = Worp, K. A. (2012) ‘Some mummy labels identified’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 182, pp. 273–274.