Paleography is the study of ancient and medieval scripts, papyrology the study of scrolls, and codicology the study of ancient and medieval books (codices). As part of our course on the “Ancient Book,” we’ve been taking a hands-on approach to studying these subjects. We’ve used papyrus and parchment to make scrolls and codices, and we’ve attempted to write on them with contemporary pens and in contemporary scripts. These projects have been a great success, and we’d like to share our methods so that other interested students and teachers can reproduce them.
Above you’ll find two tabs: “historical background” and “how to.” The “historical background” tab provides basic information on key topics in paleography, papyrology, and codicology. The “how to” tab takes you step-by-step through various projects suitable for the high school or college classroom. A better understanding of the book as a material artifact can help students see a new dimension in the study of history, philosophy, religion, and literature.