Israel Museum, Jerusalem/The Shrine of The Book

Parchment scrolls, such as the Temple Scroll, shown here, were composed of separate sheets of animal skin sewn together. The sewing margin, left arrow, sometimes leaves an impression, right arrow, on adjoining sheets when the scroll is unrolled. A mirror-image text picked up from the adjacent sheet also appears on the roll at right. Such physical characteristics can be used as clues to reconstruct a fragmentary scroll. A fragment bearing a sewing-margin impression or some mirror-image text can be placed in relation to the margin or text that caused the imprint, and the distance between them can be precisely determined. This is then used as a bench mark to determine corresponding distances.