DNA on parchment

Sarah Zang writes briefly about using DNA in old books and parchment to study the past, “The Lab Discovering DNA in Old Books” in The Atlantic. It’s frustratingly short, but interesting: The team has since sampled 5,000 animals from parchment…. They’ve found that a type of ultrafine parchment, sometimes purported to come from squirrels or …

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Learning to write on Wax Tablets, 3rd C CE

Judith Weingarten at her blog writes about a student learning to write at Palmyra with some wax tablets surviving from the 3rd C CE, now in the Netherlands: All seven Tabulae ceratae Assendelftianae were written by a single schoolboy who lived in the city in the early third century CE (as can be determined from …

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Robert Darnton on blogging

Robert Darnton at the New York Review of Books blog on blogging: “[blogs] conform to a formula derived from old-fashioned tabloid journalism: names make news.” Darnton compares some blogs to his area of expertise, underground writing of ancient regime France, and then gives succeeding examples of 18th C libels and such.  Darnton concludes (a bit …

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