Over the past two decades, remarkable collections of Warring States, Qin, and Han manuscripts have been purchased on the behalf of major academic institutions in China. This article introduces one of the latest acquisitions, the Han bamboo strips donated to Peking University in January 2009. Although the Peking University Han strips offer exciting new materials that promise to significantly advance the study of early China, research on them has been encumbered by the fact that they were not archaeologically excavated. This has invited concerns not only over the manuscripts’ authenticity, but also about the role our scholarship plays in fostering a market for looted artifacts. The article reviews current debates over the authentication of purchased bamboo strips, and discusses how the Peking University Han manuscripts were authenticated in particular. A refutation is given to recent arguments that the Peking University Laozi is a forgery. A methodology is then proposed to positively authenticate purchased manuscripts, taking the Peking University Cang Jie pian as a case study and establishing its antiquity. The article concludes by addressing the professional ethics of scholars working with looted manuscripts, giving voice to the “rescue archaeology” position largely adopted in Chinese scholarship.