A palimpsest is a manuscript page, scroll, or book that has been written on, scraped off, and used again. The word palimpsest comes from two Greek roots (palin + psEn) meaning "scraped again." Because parchment is more durable than paper or papyrus, most palimpsests known to modern scholars are parchment -- animal hide used for writing which rose in popularity in western Europe after the 6th century A.D. Also, where papyrus was in common use, reuse of writing media was less common because parchment was more costly, but some papyrus palimpsests do survive.

See Archimedes Palimpsest.

Ancient craters whose relief has disappeared leaving only a "ghost" of a crater are known as palimpsests.