Many forgeries pass through a cycle of fabrication, acceptance, doubt and final rejection. Consideration of a number of modern forgeries, notably those of Constantinos Simonides, illustrates how forgers exploit prevailing debates, look for persons or institutions on whom to practise their deception, and are often undone by their own errors, especially when manufacturing provenance. This ‘syntax’ of forgery can be applied to the case of the Jesus' Wife papyrus, though the participation of media corporations and the existence of the internet add a new element to the process.
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