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A scribe was one of a select group of people who were able to read and write. Many would have been monks who would write books and manuscripts by hand or translate sacred texts , other scribes would be essential to kings and noblemen, the judiciary and businesses to keep records. They were very important before the advent of the printing press and when the vast population were unable to read and write. Animal skins would be used upon which to write followed later by parchment which whilst costly was less so than leather skins. In Ancient Egypt scribes were the only ones allowed to have the knowledge of reading and writing and we owe their records to much of what we know about those times. Even today Hebrew scribes called Sofers are among the few that still ply their trade by hand producing Torah scrolls and other Holy texts on parchment. In 1948 a shepherd boy found some of the oldest scrolls in a cave just west of the Dead Sea these scrolls had every book in the Hebrew Bible (except the book of Esther) and many more besides and represent some of the oldest biblical texts known. It was not until 1448 That Johann Gutenberg, a German goldsmith, invented the first printing press deemed one of the most important inventions for mankind. Later in 1476 William Caxton set up the first printing press in England at Westminster.