Papyrus fragment - 910.50.1_4


Papyrus fragment

Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th-20th Dynasty, New Kingdom
8.3 x 4.5 cm
Object number: 910.50.1
Not on view

This is a fragment of papyrus, the original 'paper.'  It was made from the pith of reeds that grow in the Nile and served as the medium for books, annals, records and letters throughout Egyptian history. The black ink used to write on papyrus could be washed off so that pages could be reused.

Papyrus was made in single sheets which were then glued together to make rolls.  Some Books of the Dead are many metres long. Some of the earliest remaining papyrus was used to keep track of the equipment required for the men and ships who worked along the Red Sea coast, collecting materials for the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza, over four thousand five hundred years ago.

This little fragment shows no signs of its original use.

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