The Circulation of Ancient Manuscripts on the Antiquities Market: Improving the Ethical and Regulatory Practices and Standards of Market Stakeholders

  • Roberta Mazza (Participant)

Impact: Attitudes and behaviours, Awareness and understanding, Policy, Society and culture


Mazza’s research on the circulation of papyri on the antiquities market revealed unethical practices and illegal activities on the part of individual actors in the marketplace and a broader need for higher ethical standards in the collection, handling and publication of manuscripts. On the strength of this research, Mazza has worked with key stakeholders (collectors, publishers, professional bodies, police officers and higher education providers) to effect change. The research has produced the following impacts: 1) the codifying and adoption of more ethical practices and policies on the part of collectors, including the largest museum of biblical artefacts in the US; 2) improvements to the policies and practices of professional bodies, UK police, and a key publisher; and 3) a new emphasis on ethical considerations in the teaching of text- and artefact-oriented academic subjects in the UK and internationally, influencing the training of the next generation of papyrologists and curators.
Impact date20142020
Category of impactAttitudes and behaviours, Awareness and understanding, Policy, Society and culture