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Department of Archaeology


Skins of animals define the frontier between Western European history and prehistory. Turned into parchment they became the primary medium for our knowledge of pre-modern Western European culture. They were the most extensively used and best preserved writing material in Europe before the piecemeal adoption of paper in the late Middle Ages and the early Modern Era.

Digitisation campaigns are making more and more of the texts available as high quality digital renders. However the digital revolution, like earlier facsimiles, distances us from these objects. Beasts to Craft: (B2C) is exploiting biomolecular and imaging methods, allied to craft knowledge, to document the first two stages in the story of the manuscript: (i) the livestock; (ii) the craft that turned skins into a writing medium.

An ERC-funded project with the Universities of Copenhagen and Bristol and the Royal Library of Denmark.




EC H2020 ERC Advanced  Award

Project Lead

Project Tags

Science, Technology and Innovation
Material Culture
Periods of interest: 
Other Historical
Geographical areas: 
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Biomolecular Archaeology
Archaeological Science
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