History of Papyrus

The Papyrus as a writing surface was in use in Egypt as early as the middle of the third millennium BC. From the beginning of the Paranoiac period to the first centuries of the Arab era, texts were written in many languages: hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic, Coptic, Greek, Aramaic, Latin and Arabic. Each of these languages corresponds to a specific branch of papyrology, but each branch shares its research results with the others. The most common branches are demotic, Greek and Coptic papyrology, because the material is more abundant in these languages. Many papyri have survived also from the early Arabic period, but the overwhelming majority of them remains unpublished, because of the shortage of "agrobiologists" trained in the decipherment of the early Arabic script. A huge amount of the papyri that have survived are written in Greek and deal with every conceivable aspect of every day life. Papyri with Greek script range in date from the era that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt (332 BC) until well after the Arab conquest (641 AD).

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