Hidebound The Grisly Invention of Parchment


This is a fascinating account of how people had been writing on leather for centuries even before papyrus came into being.  As a brief exploration of human ingenuity while under pressure, a conflict with Egypt about papyrus, this is amazing.  It is fascinating that a simple difference in mechanics can change a material from leather to parchment, also that this medium becomes an amazing force for change in regards to literacy and more.  The historical aspects are fascinating, though history that ancient is something I find fascinating and hard to relate to.  I Did not realize that though the Jewish people made great use of parchment, Dead Sea Scrolls, they also created rules about what kinds of parchment could be used.  There are different types of parchment, I ‘knew’ that they were used for windowpanes in earlier times but it never really clicked with me.  The ancient peoples even colored their parchment purple and wrote on it with gold and silver inks (and we thought writing on black paper with gel pens was a new idea).

If you are at all interested in ancient arts, parchment, writing and more this is a wonderful article.  The last quarter of the article does mention the grisly origins in fairly graphic detail.  Despite the graphic nature of the last part of the article any history fan, book fan, or person interested in art would be fascinated by this article.


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