Papyrus is the sort of paper used by Egyptians in the past to write their ordinances and scrolls for their libraries. However, papyrus is actually a type of reed used to produce the paper of the Egyptians. It is a plant grows about 1 to 3 m (about 3 to 10 ft) high and has a woody, aromatic, creeping rhizome. The leaves are long and sharp-keeled, and the upright flowering stems are naked, soft, and triangular in shape. The lower part of the stem is as thick as a human arm, and at the top is a compound umbel of numerous drooping spikelets, with a whorl of eight leaves. This plant is abundant in Egypt and regions near the country.

To make papyrus, the cellular pith of the papyrus reed is cut into thin strips of long lengths. They are then laid in a smooth slab first lengthwise and then perpendicular over the other. The criss-crossed reeds are then flattened by a large slab to let the juices glue the strips together. The papyrus is left to dry and become a complete paper. It is then smoothed and made into rolls of papyrus.

It may seem that papyrus is only used to produce paper but it also has a variety of other uses. Various parts of the papyrus were used in antiquity for both ornamental and useful purposes, including wreaths for the head, sandals, boxes, boats, and rope. The roots were dried and used for fuel. The pith of the stem was boiled and eaten, but it was used mainly in making papyrus, the sort of paper that was the primary writing material of classical antiquity.

Posted 2011-01-29 and updated on Jun 08, 2011 6:52am by crisd

 Jun 08, 2011 6:52amThe forum is a brighter place thanks to your posts. Taknhs! by Keyla
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