The term paper comes from the Latin word papyrus, which in turn comes from Greek.
Throughout history, mankind has used different materials as writing surfaces. First to be used were stone, wood, metals or clay. Later, more suitable materials were found, such as papyrus and parchment and finally paper.
The Egyptians obtained papyrus from the stem of the papyrus, an aquatic plant that grows on the banks of the Nile. It was produced by cutting long thin strips, which were then formed into a sheet that was pressed and pounded with a mallet to give it uniform thickness.
Papyrus ceased to be used after the Arab invasion, which hampered goods flows between East and West and following the arrival of its competitor, parchment. Made from skinned animal hide, stretched, marinated in lime and glossed, parchment was widely used in the Middle Ages. The word ‘parchment’ is derived from the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor, where highly treasured scrolls were produced.