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Seals were used as a means of proving that legal documents were genuine. They were used by ancient civilisations and this practice came to be adopted throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.
Initially, only those of the highest social ranks used seals, but gradually their use became more widespread. Any property owner might decide to have a seal made for their own use.
The use of seals gradually decreased as alternative methods were used to authenticate documents, such as stamps or signatures.
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