Egyptian Papyrus

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Definition

Papyrus is a plant (cyperus papyrus) which once grew in abundance, primarily in the wilds of the Egyptian Delta but also elsewhere in the Nile River Valley, but is now quite rare. Papyrus buds opened from a horizontal root growing in shallow fresh water and the deeply saturated Delta mud. Stalks reached up to 16 feet tall (5 m) ending in small brown flowers which often bore fruit. These plants once were simply part of the natural vegetation of the region, but once people found a utilitarian purpose for them, they were cultivated and managed in farms, harvested heavily, and their supply depleted. Papyrus still exists in Egypt today but in greatly reduced number.

More about: Egyptian Papyrus

Timeline

  • c. 6000 BCE - c. 640 CE
    Papyrus harvested and used for multiple purposes in Egypt.
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