Sunday, 29 April 2012

Recycling printed matter: ancient palimpsest I

* Sumerians treated clay tablets as ephemeral notebooks. Once the information they contained became irrelevant, the tablets were soaked an reshaped, to be used again. As a result, few examples survived - ironically, largely survived those that got burned in the fire, i.e. fired.

* Sometimes the back side of the papyrus scroll was used to copy an new text.  The books of that kind were not particularly decorative - they were produced for a keen reader, who was more interested in content rather than the status.

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