Secrets of Ancient Egypt: What is the manufacturing technology of papyrus?

ancient technology of manufacturing the material is replaced by Egyptian priests and officials of paper, for many centuries remained in oblivion.The reason for that is not only a state monopoly on the production of papyrus and zealous obereganie tricks of the trade, and climate change in the Nile Delta and environmental problems.The recent papyrus in Egypt is almost extinct.Only in the second half of the 20th century enthusiast Hassan Ragab attended the revival of the plant and study the possibilities of its application.It was through his researches modern man known process of manufacturing papyrus.

value papyrus to the ancient Egyptians

Tropical water-loving plant belonging to the sedge Cyperus and related, thousands of years ago formed a spectacular growths on the marshy banks of the Nile in its lower reaches.Papyrus is a high smooth escape, topped with "umbrella" of the narrow lanceolate leaves.Inflorescence resembles a fan of papyrus, consisting of a number of spikelets.Triangular papyrus stalk rigid, flexible and durable.

It was used as a material for furniture, boats, rafts.From the shell is made of rope, baskets, shoes.The dried roots are used as fuel.The soft part of the shoot, which was under water, ate.The same part is ideally suited for the manufacture of "paper."

stages of manufacturing papyrus: cleavage, "assembly", drying under pressure, polishing, gluing

lower part of the stem was purified from the shell, releasing a dense, fibrous and sticky pulp.It is split into thin plates length of 40-50 cm. Modern technology involves soaking strips for a few days.

Ready plate (filyury) laid overlapped on a flat surface, laid by and skin: the first layer - parallel to the edge of the table, the second - at right angles.Initially, the width of the finished sheet is not more than 15 cm, but later the Egyptians have learned to do a pretty broad canvas.In the process of laying the material wetted with water from the Nile.

sheets were then placed in a press.It was necessary to strip stuck together and papyrus became thin and uniform.

nuances and little-known facts

the technology of manufacture of papyrus, explained simply.All the complexity is in the details.So, the longer the papyrus was kept under pressure or pre-soaked, so it comes out dark.It was important not to delay the process: the Egyptians preferred lighter material.Sheet surface treated with a special compound that prevents the spreading of ink.It is made from vinegar, flour and boiling water.After removing sheets from the press, the master repulsed them with special hammers and ironed polishing stones, pieces of wood or bone.Prepared papyri dried in the sun.Then they were glued together, to get the scroll.Egyptians paid attention to the direction of the fibers, therefore, to discover the "seam" was virtually impossible.They wrote, usually on one side (which the Romans later called recto).Making papyrus in ancient Egypt was put on stream.They sell it rolls, "cutting off" and "on weight."

papyrus in antiquity

«Pa per aa" or "stuff of kings" - so called their "paper" the Egyptians themselves.They began to use papyrus as far back as the 3rd millennium BC.e.Greeks borrowed the term, slightly modifying his pronunciation.It should be noted that Egypt provided all the papyrus ancient world, and it lasted until about the year 800 BC.e.On it were written the decrees, artistic and religious texts, made colorful illustrations.In the 1st century AD.e.historian Pliny the Elder in his "Natural History" touched on the question of what is the technology of making papyrus.However, the information provided to them was quite meager to restore trade.

According to Strabo and Pliny, there were several varieties papyrus.August, livievy and hieratic were considered during the Roman Empire the best.This was followed by an amphitheater (Alexandria), and saitsky teneotsky.They were designed for writing.Also the Egyptians traded "merchant market" - cheap "wrapper" papyrus.

Revival tricks of the trade

«What is the manufacturing technology of papyrus?" - The question became worried Hassan Ragab, the Egyptian ambassador to China, where he met with a Chinese family, has been producing paper in the traditional way.That was in 1956.Back home, Ragab bought the land for plantation, brought from Sudan local papyrus and engaged in scientific research.Ragab and his students managed to make papyrus, not inferior in quality ancient samples.On it the talented Egyptian artists performed painting: copy found in the tombs of illustrations and original works.

is difficult to say whether the modern Ragab Papyrus as durable as the ancient Egyptian.In addition, climate change has become more humid and moisture papyrus spoils.It is also unknown how accurately reproduced Ragab process of manufacturing papyrus.Maybe he brought him something of his own.But, anyway, modern scrolls and decorative panels are successfully sold, and information about what the technology of making papyrus is available every inquisitive tourist.