Start Carbon dating bible manuscripts

Carbon dating bible manuscripts

On the whole, early medieval scribes were thus not indiscriminate in supplying themselves with material from any old volumes that happened to be at hand.

Vast destruction of the broad quartos of the early centuries took place in the period which followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but palimpsests were also created as new texts were required during the Carolingian Renaissance.

The most valuable Latin palimpsests are found in the codices which were remade from the early large folios in the 7th to the 9th centuries.

Pergamene (now known as parchment) was made of baby lamb or kid skin (best made in ancient Pergamon) and was expensive and not readily available, so in the interest of economy a pergamene often was re-used by scraping the previous writing.

In colloquial usage, the term palimpsest is also used in architecture, archaeology, and geomorphology to denote an object made or worked upon for one purpose and later reused for another, for example a monumental brass the reverse blank side of which has been re-engraved.

The word "palimpsest" derives from the Latin palimpsestus, which derives from the Ancient Greek παλίμψηστος (palímpsēstos, "again scraped"), a compound word that literally means "scraped clean and ready to be used again".

The Ancient Greeks used wax-coated tablets, like scratch-pads, to write on with a stylus, and to erase the writing by smoothing the wax surface and write again.

The writing was washed from parchment or vellum using milk and oat bran.

With the passing of time, the faint remains of the former writing would reappear enough so that scholars can discern the text (called the scriptio inferior, the "underwriting") and decipher it.

Cultural considerations also motivated the creation of palimpsests.

The demand for new texts might outstrip the availability of parchment in some centers, yet the existence of cleaned parchment that was never overwritten suggests that there was also a spiritual motivation, to sanctify pagan text by overlaying it with the word of God, somewhat as pagan sites were overlaid with Christian churches to hallow pagan ground.

Or the pagan texts may have merely appeared irrelevant.