Gift Of The Nile


Ancient Egyptians made efficient use of all the parts of the papyrus plant, which they considered to be a “gift of the Nile.” For example, papyrus was used to make baskets, sandals, blankets, medicine, incense, and boats. The woody root was used to make bowls and utensils and was burned for fuel. Perhaps the most significant use of the papyrus plant, however, was the paper made by pressing together strips of its split stems.


Of course, the quality of the papyrus, like paper today, can vary considerably. In The Deadliest Lie, Noah informs Miriam that he will use only those papyri made from the center of the stem. “When I grow up,” he boasted, “that’s the only kind of papyrus I’ll buy. I won’t write on anything but the smoothest sheets.”


And in The Deadliest Hate, when Miriam takes a panel of papyrus to Bion, he is able to pinpoint its provenance. “The panel, judging by its smoothness, is made of the finest center-cut Egyptian papyrus, from one of the factories along Lake Mareotis that serves an elite clientele.”


In a dry climate, like that of Egypt, papyrus is stable, formed as it is of highly rot-resistant cellulose. But I can promise you this: Whatever Miriam bat Isaac story you read, it will either be printed on smooth paper or electronically delivered in a form that will never rot. To take your pick, Just click here.



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