Ancient Writing Materials


vase painting of a student
writing on a tablet

Ancient writers wrote on a variety of other materials besides papyrus, including pottery, animal hides, wood, and even ancient paper. There was, to a certain extent, a progression over time from the use of papyrus to parchment and later, paper. However, the unique characterstics of each material often lended them particular uses which were maintained over the centuries.

The Michigan Papyrus Collection has examples of many, varied types of writing materials - click on a material below to learn more about it. Each page contains information about that material as well as images of examples from the collection. In some cases, a link to the APIS entry for the example text is also available, providing detailed information, images and translations. Just click on the bull!



Wax Tablets






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Last modified: 04/27/2015