What Did They Use for Paper in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, the invention of paper had not yet been made, so people had to rely on other materials to write on. The Greeks were a highly literate society, and writing was an essential part of their culture. So, what did they use for paper?

One of the most commonly used materials for writing in ancient Greece was papyrus. Papyrus is a reed that grows in the Nile Delta in Egypt, and it was imported into Greece in large quantities.

The stems of the papyrus plant were cut into thin strips and laid out side by side to form a sheet. The sheets were then pressed together under heavy weights to form a writing surface.

Another material that was used for writing in ancient Greece was parchment. Parchment is made from animal skins, usually from sheep or goats.

The skins were soaked in water to remove any remaining flesh or hair and then stretched out on a frame to dry. Once the skin was dry, it would be scraped with a sharp knife to make it smooth and even.

Both papyrus and parchment were expensive materials, so they were primarily used by the wealthy and educated members of society. The common people would use more readily available materials such as wood or clay tablets.

Wooden tablets were made from thin sheets of wood that were coated with wax. People could write on them using a stylus, which left an impression on the wax surface. When they wanted to erase what they had written, they could simply smooth out the wax surface and start again.

Clay tablets were also commonly used for writing in ancient Greece. Clay tablets were made by shaping wet clay into rectangular shapes and drying them in the sun or firing them in a kiln. Once they were dry, people could write on them using a stylus or another pointed object.

In conclusion, while paper had not yet been invented during ancient Greek times, people had access to a variety of other materials that served as writing surfaces. From papyrus and parchment to wood and clay tablets, these materials were essential in preserving the written record of ancient Greece.