Scratching the surface: the use of sheepskin parchment to deter textual erasure in early modern legal deeds

Although paper was gaining popularity in late 16th Britain, it seemed sheepskin remained the medium of choice for legal deeds; in a peptide (amino acid) analysis of 645 English legal deeds from the 13th to 19th centuries, researchers have discovered that most were undoubtedly sheepskin. They put forth that it may be because of the skin’s propensity to deform when disturbed, leading to more visible proof of maclicious textual alteration of the deeds. Read full article here

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