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Papyrus as writing material: the making of papyrus sheets

There are three main steps in making papyrus. It is not known when in the year the papyrus was gathered from the marshes; in post-war experimental papyrus production in London, the best result were obtained from papyrus reeds harvested late (after April) - according to a personal communication from the late Dr. I.E.S. Edwards. After cutting the plant into suitable proportions the papyrus stems were cut into thin pieces. These pieces were then arranged into two layers and after that pressed or beaten.

(click on the images for short movies)

two possible ways of cutting the papyrus plant
strips were placed on a board
pressing or beating the papyrus
creating a papyrus roll



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