MATERIALS USED FOR MANUSCRIPTS – BRONZE, IRON & TIN

We have already seen the metals gold, silver, copper and Brass to write manuscripts. The metals that are left are Bronze, Iron and Tin.

BRONZE

          This “Bell metal” is rarely used for utensils. The bells made up of bronze contain inscriptions regarding the donors. A Human head in bronze is recovered from Peshawar and it has letters all around it.

IRON

          Though iron is common and cheap, it is not used for manuscripts due to its susceptibility of oxidation. There are three instances where writing is found on iron.

  1. Mehrauli Iron pillar near the Kutub minar. It contains the undated inscription of certain king Candra.

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     2. The pillar at Dhar has Nāgarī and Persian inscriptions around it. The inscription belongs to the period of Akbar.

3. Iron pillar at the Acaleśvara temple of 15th CE has writing on its top.

TIN

          The only instance of using Tin for writing is a Buddhist manuscript reported to be in the British museum.

Thus the metals are used for writing manuscripts.

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