Dating of parchment

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A person’s handwriting tends to remain constant throughout his life.

Therefore, texts often cannot be dated to within 50 years.

Most ancient scribes did not mark their copies of Bible manuscripts with the date of completion. Because it usually took a long time for significant changes to occur in the general style of handwriting, a close examination of the script, while useful, provides only a broad indication of the time of writing.

To determine an approximate date, scholars compare the texts with other works, including ancient non-Biblical documents for which dates are known, drawing inferences from handwriting, punctuation, abbreviations, and so on. Thankfully, there are other ways to narrow down the date.

This confirms the high importance of lipid peroxidation during degradation of parchment.

In their seminal work on ancient skin-based materials, Reed and Burton have shown that shrinkage temperature scales well with age and can be used to date parchment and leather (Burton et al., 1959).This codex has been dated to the early fifth century C. E., largely because of the changes that occurred in uncial writing between the fifth and sixth centuries, as exemplified in a dated document called the Dioscorides of Vienna.* A second major manuscript made available to scholars is the Sinaitic Manuscript (Codex Sinaiticus), acquired by Tischendorf at St. Penned in Greek uncials on parchment, it contains part of the Hebrew Scriptures from the Greek Septuagint version as well as all of the Christian Greek Scriptures. However, several hundred dated manuscripts have been identified. These include identifying and dating the introduction of certain handwriting practices. E., scribes began to increase the use of ligatures (two or more characters joined together).Scribes also began to use infralinear writing (the writing of certain Greek letters below the line) as well as pronunciation aids called breathing marks.

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