Gold leaf was traditionally created by hammering gold coins sandwiched in between leather, until 0.5 millimetres thick. Lime in mortar dries out skin so medieval craftspeople would rub pigs fat onto their hands to act as a moisturizer. Castle building was a seasonal venture lasting from spring to autumn. During the winter, unfinished walls were sealed with a layer of mortar to protect them from rain and frost. The outer layer of mortar dries but the inner layer seemingly never does as wet mortar...
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