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Worldtraveltime will show you here one of the greatest things of Egypt, it is “Papyrus”.

Papyrus is one of the oldest plants known by the ancient Egyptians about 5000 years ago.

The scientific name of papyrus’s species is “cyperacus”.

Papyrus is a plant which grows in marshes or on sides of lakes, rivers & canals. The harvest of papyrus is in summer.

Papyrus had many names through history, for example it was called by the ancient Egyptians “pa pr a’a” which means “the great house” because it was only used for writing by the royal palace & it was not allowed for common people at that time to write on it.


The name later became papyrus Greek, paper in English, papier in German.

About 3000 B.C. the Egyptians used papyrus for different functions, for instance it was used for; paper, ropes, mats, beds, baskets, sandals, boats & some clothes.

Part of Papyrus also was used as food like gum & sugar cane nowadays.

The ancient Egyptians also were interested in using papyrus as bouquet of flowers offered during ceremonies symbolizing joy & victory.

As paper for writing, papyrus is excellent, it has very good characteristics, strong, stable off-white color & not affected by moisture.


Manufacture of paper from papyrus: these are the stages in brief;

  • Cutting the lower part of the stem.
  • Removing the covering of the stem & cutting the inner part.
  • Partition the inner soft part into slices or long sheets.
  • Soaking the slices into water for some days (probably a week more or less).
  • Pressing on the slices to get rid of dissolvent materials or liquids.
  • Putting all slices in layers, one layer is horizontal & one is vertical.
  • Putting the whole issue between 2 pieces of cloth, beating them, leaving to dry.
  • Putting the issue between 2 stones for pressing for more days, likely 6 days, to become paper (most probably thanks to cellulose material inside the plant)

It was said that ideal roll in ancient Egypt was about 20 pages, but rolls also were connected together, the longest roll fond is about 40 meters long.


For 1000 years the art of papyrus making was lost to the world until after 10 years of hard work & accurate research, ex-Egyptian Ambassador Professor Hassan Ragab MSc PhD one of the most precious secrets of ancient Egypt.

Dr. Ragab is the only person holding a patent from the Egyptian Ministry of National Research guaranteeing exclusive rights to his papyrus manufacturing technique.

Worldtraveltime advise you to visit one of papyrus institutes, called also papyrus museums, in Cairo, Luxor or Aswan…..etc. during your tour in Egypt.

Papyrus Museum has a permanent display of hundreds of different authentic papyri, all hand painted by leading Egyptian Artists. Some products here can be purchased, so you can get a nice souvenir, authentic & guaranteed.


Papyrus Rafts:

The larger & more buoyant the raft is, the more people or goods it can carry. Early rafts on the Nile were made of bundles of papyrus stalks bound together into a flat platform steady enough to stand upon. On these, early farmers fished & hunted waterfowl in the dense marshes along the banks of the Nile.

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