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Some Fake Inscriptions from Olbia and Tyras

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image of Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

The article is devoted to fake inscriptions, which were published as original ones with a provenance from Olbia and Tyras. The earliest known example of such fakes is the inscription IOSPE I 2 285, which was copied by H. K. E. Koehler in 1804 in Nikolaev and published by him in 1827. At the end of the 19th century, a large workshop making fake inscriptions was active in Southern Russia, probably under the control of the famous dealers in antiquities and forgers, the Hochmann brothers. At first they managed to deceive scholars, and many fake inscriptions were published as genuine ones. However, V. V. Latyshev soon recognised numerous fakes and included a list of them in the fourth volume of the IOSPE (1901). Some forged inscriptions made in the same workshop are nevertheless still considered genuine ones and are published as such. The inscriptions IOSPE I 2, 157; SEG 47, 1196; SEG 56, 903 belong to this group. Moreover, two copies of the inscription IOSPE I 2, 188 were found in the museum’s collections: the first is now preserved in Kherson Museum, the second one in Odessa Museum. The first one is a genuine inscription, the second one is its copy made in the same workshop belonging to the Hochmann brothers.1

Affiliations: 1: Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow Institute “Ausonius”,


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