Hi, my friend and I are doing a report on the history of paper. We need to show how paper "evolved" from how people made it in the early times to how it looks now. I was thinking we could use Egypt's papyrus for the early paper example. I know that papyrus was a plant on the banks of the Nile and how they made it, but I was wondering if anyone could give me some extra little tidbits of info about papyrus, like some interesting facts. Thanks all!
Hi Dark Meryetamun, here is an excellent site for papyrus http://www.ancientroute.com/resource/papyrus.htm
Interesting but not well known tidbits on papyrus
Hemaka, Keeper of the Royal Seal during the First Dynasty reign of Pharaoh Den. In his tomb, is the earliest scroll of papyrus found yet. It was unused new and waiting to be used in his afterlife.
This early scroll is also mentioned in Early Dynastic Egypt, by Toby A.H. Wilkinson.
The oldest surviving written papyrus is dated to the 11th Dynasty and is known today as the Prisse Papyrus. It is considered to be a "Wisdom Text" containing wisdom sayings from Viziers from the 4th Dynasty.
There were grades of papyrus just as there are grades of paper today indicating the quality of the papyrus.
The finest grade was made from the very center of the papyrus reed. When ready for use it was translucent and so fine it could disintegrate under the pressure of the writting instrutment. When Rome took over the papyrus business this very fine grade was renamed the Augustus, and the second finest grade was named after his wife Liva
There were also harsher grades of papyrus some suitable only for wrapping things in like packaging paper.
The latin name for the papyrus reed plant is Cyperus papyrus.
The papyrus reed can grow to 12-15ft in height.
Our word paper comes from the word papyrus.
Rolls of papyrus could extend up to 10 meters in lenght.
Pharaoh alone earned the income from papyrus trading.
Byblos, traded so much with Egypt for papyrus writting paper that it got it's name Byblos (Greek for book) because of the books coming from it.
Papyri scroll remains are found in Italy, Palestine, Syria, Israel, Greece and Jordan. The House of Papyri found in Pompeii buried under volcanic ash was so named because of the thousands of papyri scrolls found there. It was the home of Juluis Caesar's last father-in-law. G. Piso Calprunius. It is also the largest surviving library of the Ancient World. All the papyrii found so far have been severely burned to carbon chunks. However the Brigham(?spelling) University, Utah is making huge gains in getting the scrolls to become readable again. The biggest surprise yet about these scrolls read to date is that most of them are written in Greek not Latin!
Our complete knowledge of Homer's work is thanks to papyrus copyies, found in Egypt.
It is said, that once Pharaoh got angered by a neigboring King. So he forbid the sell of pyprus to him. This King to offset the need for papyrus paper developed parchment for use instead.
However the Egyptians were using parchment as early as the 4th dynasty but limiting it's use to religious/speical purposes. Parchment is far more durable than papyrus. The Assyrians/Babylonians were using parchment from the 6th century BCE.