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Wax Equestrian Seal (attached to document)

Attached to the parchment document is a seal—an engraved piece of material (usually wax, lead, or clay) that was used to authenticate a document. Sigillography is the historical field of study that deals with seals and their historical contexts. The use of seals during the Middle Ages was imbued with symbolic significance; indeed, there exists a rich amount of symbolism in the motifs and physical characteristics of seals. 

The seal attached to the Scottish Land Charter is made of wax and displays an image of a man riding a horse imprinted on it (seen in photo). This design—known as an ‘equestrian’ design—was common in the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries. This motif was used to denote the high social status of the person to whom the seal belonged. Therefore, it can be concluded that this seal was used to mark the high status of Duncan, Earl of Fife himself.

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