Macquarie University
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Collecting papyrus in the 21st century: a comparison of existing and emerging trade markets

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posted on 2022-03-28, 23:35 authored by Lauren Elizabeth Dundler
In the past two decades, the emergence of an Internet market for antiquities has invited new challenges and concerns for policing and regulating the trade of cultural artefacts. Surprisingly, few have responded to these issues with research output. This thesis responds to this research shortfall by providing a detailed analysis of the contemporary market for papyrus as it is realised on the Internet. The Internet market for antiquities is prolific and profitable for dealers.Subsequently, existing dealers -antiquarians and auction houses -have transitioned their business to online platforms competing with new, inexperienced sellers. This thesis will provide a systematic examination of the Internet market for papyrus, with a focus on the relationship between these two markets and how the existing practices and values of the modern antiquities trade have been translated to the unique retail context of the Internet. Ultimately, this insight will be useful in the development of the necessary regulatory policies and strategies designed in response to the Internet market for antiquities. Whilst this comparative examination explores the ways in which the emerging market has developed out of traditional market practices and values, it demonstrates that the Internet market for antiquities is a unique entity and needs to be treated as such.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Literature review and methodology -- Chapter 3. Background -- Chapter 4. Price - value, authenticity, and forgery -- Chapter 5. Provenance - origins, movement, and ownership -- Chapter 6. Persona - internet identities, expertise, and academic involvement in the market -- Chapter 7. Conclusion


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 75-83

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Malcolm Choat


Copyright Lauren Elizabeth Dundler 2017 Copyright disclaimer:




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