African Archaeological Review

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 285–303 | Cite as

Parchment Production in the First Millennium BC at Seglamen, Northern Ethiopia

  • Laurel PhillipsonEmail author
Original Article


Traditional Ethiopian and European processes of parchment manufacture and their associated tools are described and compared with artefacts recovered from an important pre-Aksumite site at Seglamen, in the highlands of northern Ethiopia. Many close similarities of tools used at Seglamen in both the earlier and later phases of the pre-Aksumite, from about 800 BC, to implements used by present-day Ethiopian scribes attest to the systematic production of parchment at Seglamen and to cultural continuity over a period of almost three millennia.


Pre-Aksumite Parchment Manuscript production Lithic tools Ethiopian archaeology Seglamen 


Les processus traditionnels éthiopiens et européens de fabrication du parchemin, et les outils qui leurs sont liés, sont décrits et comparés aux objets retrouvés sur un site pré-Aksumite à Seglamen, dans les régions montagneuses du nord de l’Ethiopie. Un grand nombre de similarités entre les outils utilisés à Seglamen pendant l’époque pré-Aksumite, à partir du huitième siècle av. J-C, et ceux utilisés de nos jours par les scribes éthiopiens, atteste de la production systématique du parchemin à Seglamen et d’une continuité culturelle pendant près de trois millénaires.



Particular gratitude is expressed to the Scientific Director, Professor R. Fattovich, Field Director, Dr. L. Sernicola and members of the research team at Seglamen for the opportunity to contribute to their research and for their unfailing support of my continuing study of pre-Aksumite lithics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North YorkshireUK

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