Ancient Writing

Ancient Writing

An original document affecting the transfer of real property, which can be admitted as evidence in a lawsuit because its aged condition and its location upon discovery sufficiently establish its authenticity.

Under Common Law, an ancient writing, sometimes called an ancient document, could be offered as evidence only if certain conditions were met. The document had to be at least thirty years old, the equivalent of a generation. It had to appear genuine and free from suspicion. For example, if the date of the document or the signatures of the parties to it appeared to have been altered, it was not considered genuine. When found, the document must have been in a likely location or in the possession of a person who would logically have had access to it, such as a deed found in the office of the county clerk or in the custody of the attorney for one of the parties to the writing. An ancient writing must also have related to the transfer of real property, for example, a will, a deed, or a mortgage. When all these requirements were met, an ancient writing was presumed to be genuine upon its presentation for admission as evidence without any additional proof.

Today various state rules of evidence and the Federal Rules of Evidence have expanded the admissibility of ancient writings. An ancient writing can now be offered as evidence if its condition does not suggest doubt as to its authenticity, if it is found in a likely place, and if it is at least twenty years old at the time it is presented for admission into evidence.

Some states still adhere to the requirement that a document be at least thirty years old before it comes within the ancient writing exception to the Hearsay rule. A few states recognize ancient documents only if, in addition to these basic requirements, the person seeking the admission of the ancient writing has taken possession of the property in question.

An ancient writing is admissible in a trial as an exception to the rule that prohibits hearsay from being used as evidence in a trial. In a case where no other evidence exists, the legitimacy of the writing must be considered if the case is to be determined on its merits. The probability that such a document is trustworthy is determined by its condition and location upon discovery. These factors permit a court and a jury to presume the authenticity of an ancient writing.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
On the sculptured stones in the Copan valley there are characters which seem to resemble very ancient writing, but this pictographic writing is largely untranslatable.
Now in ancient writings, and indeed in literature generally, there remains often a large element which was not comprehended in the original design.
In the light of inscribed Indus script, variant Indus script and symbolic words, phrases and lines or characters of early Brahmi, Pali and Kharosthi engraved on rocks, it is believed that these ancient inscriptions or ancient writing systems were carved from the Bronze Age and early Iron Age to the medieval period.
For example, it was toward the end of the illiterate Greek Dark Ages that the Homeric poems began to take shape in oral form, which, given ancient writing technology, may have been at the time a freer and more flexible creative medium.
Focusing once more on women trapped in a patriarchal system, and the complex family and gender dynamics relevant to today's world, the festival adaption is billed as "ancient writing brought alive."
Murray's expert manipulation of her material is obvious as the delicate linear cracklings within each scroll suggest intentional markings like a form of ancient writing. This notion is echoed in a complementary work from the artist's Sanctuary series.
A leather manuscript, rediscovered among rolls of ancient writing at the Cairo Museum in Egypt, has been pieced together by Egyptologist Dr Wael Sherbiny, The Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.
The media chapter points to ancient writing systems and the introduction of printing as a key historical part of the current reality of digital communication.
Details at 5 ANCIENT writing work shop, Sat & Sun, 1-4pm, FREE ANCIENT Egyptian people used hieroglyphs to write down the sounds of their language.
Ancient writing materials such as parchment, vellum and rag paper are surprisingly durable - it is the ink that tends to go.