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Made from calfskin, lambskin, kidskin or antelop skin, vellum was a material which was used for the purpose of writing, similar to paper. To properly prepare the writing surface, the hair was scraped off of the skin. Then it was washed, smoothed, and dressed with chalk. Vellum was used until the late Middle Ages, at which time paper was introduced into Europe from China via Arab traders. Vellum lasted longer than papyrus as a writing surface, and was tougher, but the edges sometimes became torn and tattered. The two oldest parchment manuscripts are the Codex Vaticanus, (from Egypt), and the Codex Sinaiticus, both of which are viewed as corrupted Biblical texts by some non-Roman Catholic Biblical scholars.

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