Forging Antiquity

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

Malcolm Choat

Malcolm Choat is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University. His current research interests centre on discourses of authenticity, debates over cultural heritage, and the reception of the ancient world. He is interested in the way the ancient world is experienced today, and our interactions with the nations and peoples whose pasts we study. He addresses these issues in a range of fora: in the ‘Forging Antiquity’ project described in these pages; via the ‘Markers of Authenticity’ research cluster based in the ‘Modes of Communication’ research theme in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University; and in the Faculty of Arts ‘Cognitive Humanities’ research stream

By training he is an ancient historian, papyrologist, and copticist, and his research has foccused on early Christianity, monasticism, magic, and Greek and Coptic papyrology in Roman and Late antique Egypt. He has worked on Australian Research Council funded projects on Religious authority and linguistic change in late antique Egypt, Communication networks in Upper Egyptian monastic communities, and Scribal Practice in Duplicate documents on papyrus in the project Knowledge transfer and administrative professionalism in a pre-typographic society: observing the scribe at work in Roman and early Islamic Egypt. He is involved in several editoral projects, including Papyri from the Rise of Christianity in Egypt; the reedition of the magical handbooks on papyrus in the Neubauer Collegium funded project Transmission of Magical Knowledge in Antiquity; a new edition of the fourth century papyrus archive of Apa Johannes; and the publication of the Greek and Coptic texts from Macquarie excavations on Dra’ Abu el-Naga in West Thebes.

His publications may be found at Tweet at him @malfy_c; email him at for issues relating to fake papyri, or at