After extracting the marrow from the stems, a series of steps (humidification, pressing, drying, gluing, and cutting), produced media of variable quality, the best being used for sacred writing. In Ancient Egypt, papyrus was used for writing maybe as early as from First Dynasty, but first evidence is from the account books of King Neferirkare Kakai of the Fifth Dynasty (about 2400 BC).[2] A calamus, the stem of a reed sharpened to a point, or bird feathers were used for writing. The script of Egyptian scribes was called hieratic, or sacredotal writing; it is not hieroglyphic, but a simplified form more adapted to manuscript writing (hieroglyphs usually being engraved or painted). Papyrus books were in the form of a scroll of several sheets pasted together, for a total length of up to 10 meters or even more. Some books, such as the history of the reign of Ramses III, were over 40 meters long. Books rolled out horizontally; the text occupied one side, and was divided into columns. The title was indicated by a label attached to the cylinder containing the book. Many papyrus texts come from tombs, where prayers and sacred texts were deposited (such as the Book of the Dead, from the early 2nd millennium BC). These examples demonstrate that the development of the book, in its material makeup and external appearance, depended on a content dictated by political (the histories of pharaohs) and religious (belief in an afterlife) values. The particular influence afforded to writing and word perhaps motivated research in

o ways of conserving texts. Papyrus ( /ppa?r?s/) is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus,[1] a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Papyrus is first known to have been used in ancient Egypt (at least as far back as the First Dynasty), but it was also used throughout the Mediterranean region. Ancient Egyptians used this plant as a writing material and for boats, mattresses, mats, rope, sandals, and baskets. Chemically, papyrus is composed of 57% cellulose, 27% lignin, 9% minerals, and 7% water.[2] Papyrus was first manufactured in Egypt as far back as the third millennium BC.[3] In the first centuries BC and AD, papyrus scrolls gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parchment, which was prepared from animal skins.[4] Sheets of parchment were folded to form quires from which book-form codices were fashioned. Early Christian writers soon adopted the codex form, and in the Gr?co-Roman world, it became common to cut sheets from papyrus rolls to form codices. Codices were an improvement on the papyrus scroll, as the papyrus was not pliable enough to fold without cracking and a long roll, or scroll, was required to create large-volume texts. Papyrus had the advantage of being relatively cheap and easy to produce, but it was fragile and susceptible to both moisture and excessive dryness. Unless the papyrus was of perfect quality, the writing surface was irregular, and the range of media that could be used was also limited.