Ancient Writing Materials: Wax Tablets


Wax tablets are unique among ancient writing materials because they can be easily erased and reused. They were formed by depositing a thin layer of wax on a flat piece of wood which usually had raised edges, in order that the tablets could be closed without damaging the content.

birth certificate on a wax tablet
Latin and Greek
128 AD
P.Mich.Inv 766
full image: front

Although commonly used by schoolboys in Greece, wax tablets were also used for official documents, such as the birth certificate above.

You can view all wax tablets in our collection via APIS by clicking here.




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Last modified: 03/11/2014