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Likely Lies: A Statistical Analysis of the Prevalence of Modern Forgeries Open Access

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The authenticity of newly discovered artifacts is critically important. Scholars examine inscriptions for linguistic consistency, carbon dates, and intentions, among other factors. However, it can often be difficult to determine authenticity. This raises problems within the antiquities community. How ought media report on potentially forged artifacts? Are a few expert opinions enough to claim legitimacy? Which factors should be most heavily weighed when determining validity? This paper seeks to establish an objective, statistical model for determining the authenticity of textual artifacts. A model is produced which analyzes qualities of an inscription, considers evidence against its legitimacy, and predicts the probability that it is forged.

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