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Taken from Prosper Alpinus, 1801. Papyrus is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Papyrus is first known to have been used in ancient Egypt, but it was also used throughout the Mediterranean region. Ancient Egyptians used this plant as a writing material and for boats, mattresses, mats, rope, sandals, and baskets. Papyrus was first manufactured in Egypt as far back as the third millennium BC. In the first centuries BC and AD, papyrus scrolls gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parchment, which was prepared from animal skins. Sheets of parchment were folded to form quires from which book-form codices were fashioned.
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