Palaeography (UK) or paleography (US; ultimately from Greek: παλαιός, palaiós, ""old"", and γράφειν, graphein, ""to write"") is the study of ancient and historical handwriting (that is to say, of the forms and processes of writing, not the textual content of documents). Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts, and the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of scriptoria.The discipline is important to understanding, authenticating, and dating ancient texts. However, ""paleography is a last resort for dating"" and, ""for book hands, a period of 50 years is the least acceptable spread of time"" with it being suggested that ""the ""rule of thumb"" should probably be to avoid dating a hand more precisely than a range of at least seventy or eighty years."" In an 2005 e-mail addendum to his 1996 ""The Paleographical Dating of P-46"" paper Bruce W. Griffin stated ""Until more rigorous methodologies are developed, it is difficult toconstruct a 95% confidence interval for NT manuscripts without allowing a century for an assigned date."" William M Schniedewind went even further in the abstract to his 2005 paper ""Problems of Paleographic Dating of Inscriptions"" and stated that ""The so-called science of paleography often relies on circular reasoning because there is insufficient data to draw precise conclusion about dating. Scholars also tend to oversimplify diachronic development, assuming models of simplicity rather than complexity"".