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parchment
CATEGORY: term; language
DEFINITION: Writing material made from the skin of calves, sheep, or goat, which gradually replaced papyrus during the late Roman empire, resulting in the book (codex) replacing the scroll. The name apparently derives from the ancient Greek city of Pergamum (in Turkey), where parchment is said to have been invented in the 2nd century BC. It is less fragile, and could also be reused after the original text had been erased by scraping (called palimpsests). The finer kind of parchment known as vellum is from the skins of calves, kids, and dead-born lambs. In the 4th century AD, vellum or parchment as a material and the codex as a form became dominant, although there are later examples of rolls, and papyrus was occasionally used for official documents until the 10th century. Paper then took over from 14th century.
parchment ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A range of tableware, mostly bowls, in pale fabrics with simple red-brown painted decoration that was popular in Britain in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

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