No one knows where the codex was found, but most scholars who have studied it believe it was written by someone in pre-Islamic Upper Egypt approximately 1,300 years ago. An antiques dealer came across it in the late 70's or early 80's who subsequently sold it to Macquarie University in 1981. Since that time, various researchers have attempted to read the text but none were successful until now. The 20 parchment pages of text were written in Coptic, the researchers note, and offer 27 spells and multiple invocations and drawings. It appears likely, the team reports, that the two types of subjects meant that they were once separate documents that were later combined in the codex.
A pair of Australian researchers, Malcolm Choat with Macquarie University and Iain Gardner with the University of Sydney, has after many decades of effort by others, succeeded in deciphering an ancient Egyptian codex. In meeting with members of the press, they revealed that the codex is actually a handbook of a practitioner of rituals and for that reason have published the converted text as "Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power."