New materials: papyrus

Papyrus fragment

Papyrus, a reed-like plant abundant in Egypt and Southern Sudan, was used as a writing material from the fourth millennium BCE until it was superseded by paper in the medieval period. Strips of pith from the plant are laid at right angles and melded together to form sheets which can be joined to produce scrolls. This fragment of a Greek poem, dating from the late second or early third century CE, is one of thousands of papyri excavated from an ancient rubbish dump at Oxyrhynchus in southern Egypt.

MS Add.4414

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