The materials used for writing is also an important thing in the field of manuscriptology. The selection of material depends on the usage. Even today daily newspaper is not printed on maplitho paper, nor dictionary is printed on newsprint. The nature and purpose of a document determines the selection of the material.

          In ancient days, works were copied on such material as were easily and readily available. Quite curiously, sometimes certain works are found copied on those on which we normally do not expect.

          These materials that are used for writing books (Not for all documents by which the non-importance of stone etc is justified), can be divided into two:

  1. Important
  2. Other materials

The important materials are Palmleaf, Bhūrjapatra (bark of a Bhūrja tree) and Paper.

The Other materials are classified into two viz Metals and Non metals.

The matels that are used for writing are

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Copper
  4. Brass
  5. Bronze
  6. Tin and
  7. Iron

The non-metal materials are

  1. Stone
  2. Bricks
  3. Leather
  4. Cloth
  5. Crystal
  6. Ivory
  7. Shells and

Different writing instruments were used to write on these materials. Of these, we have examples for almost all the materials. Even some specimens are available for perishable materials like cloth, paper and wood. We will see the preparation and usage of each material in the forthcoming posts.

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