Writing on prepared animal skins had a long history, however. David Diringer noted that "the first mention of Egyptian documents written on leather goes back to the Fourth Dynasty (c. 2550–2450 BC), but the earliest of such documents extant are: a fragmentary roll of leather of the Sixth Dynasty (c. 24th century BC), unrolled by Dr. H. Ibscher, and preserved in the Cairo Museum; a roll of the Twelfth Dynasty (c. 1990–1777 BC) now in Berlin; the mathematical text now in the British Museum (MS. 10250); and a document of the reign of Ramses II (early thirteenth century BC). " Though the Assyrians and the Babylonians impressed their cuneiform on clay tablets, they also wrote on parchment from the 6th century BC onward. Rabbinic literature traditionally maintains that the institution of employing parchment made of animal hides for the writing of ritual objects such as the Torah, mezuzah, and tefillin is Sinaitic in origin, with special designations for different types of parchment such as gevil and klaf.
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