The history of human writing on paper is a fascinating one. Many believe that the invention of paper itself was a turning point in civilization. It allowed for the preservation and sharing of ideas, thoughts, and knowledge across vast distances, paving the way for communication as we know it today.

But when exactly did humans start writing on paper? Let’s take a look at some key moments in history to understand how we got here.

Early Writing: Clay Tablets

Early Writing: Clay Tablets

Before paper was invented, ancient civilizations had to find other materials to write on. In Mesopotamia, around 3100 BCE., clay tablets were used as the primary means of recording important information such as laws and treaties.

These clay tablets were inscribed with cuneiform script – markings made by pressing reed styluses into wet clay – and then baked to make them durable. These religious or legal contracts are still preserved in museums throughout Iraq today.

Papyrus: The First Paper-Like Material

Papyrus: The First Paper-Like Material

Egyptian civilization saw the first step towards modern-day paper with papyrus – a plant-based material that could be flattened out into scrolls or sheets to write on. Papyrus was first developed by Egyptians during the third millennium BC, which quickly became their dominant medium for written communication.

It’s made from strips cut from an aquatic reed plant pressed together using pressure until they stick together like glue effectively creating what scholars refer to as ‘pulp’. Eventually mummies replaced wheat flour with pulp that makes up papyrus resulting in its longer life span since it wasn’t prone to rotting like its previous counterparts’ animal hides and skins.

Parchment: The Next Step Forward

For centuries after Papyrus use declined due to supply constraints parchment dominated; this was more commonly known forms during early medieval Europe between1300-1400 ADs up till when scrapbooks came about specifically towards Renaissance era starts(16th century). Animal hides such as sheepskin or calf-skin would be treated with chalk lime to remove any flesh or hair, then stomped on and scraped with rounded blades until it was thin enough to write on. Although still expensive and time-consuming compared to today’s paper-making techniques, parchment could hold up to heavy ink marks as well as being more durable than papyrus.

Wax Tablets: A Portable Option

As portable writing surfaces continued to develop throughout the ancient world, wax tablets became increasingly popular due to their compact size and reusability – think of them as a sort of precursor for modern-day whiteboards!

A layer of wax was spread over a wooden board – often bound by leather straps – which allowed for creation markings using stylus; once finished, cleared away by liquid concoction made out oil vinegar solution. These small wooden boards were used primarily in Greece during the second century B.C. BCE but later adopted in Rome where they remained common into the 4th century.

Papier-Mâché: Turning Paper Into Art

During early 19th century French sculptor Francois-Joseph Salvatore observed how hard is papier-mache can become after exposure towards moisture plus glueing agents/chemicals such starches emulsions thus he started using this technique mold sculptures that look like marble/seashell textures without actually having crafted these objects out from these materials well suited when combined mediums at his disposal.

Paper As We Know It Today:

While each significant development represents new approaches throughout history developed towards effective communication skills according our environmental needs; it wasn’t till better technology came about that an efficient way of producing paper harnessed that paved future innovations within literary realms inclusive printing press (15th Century) & computers(20-21st Century.)

The Chinese managed mass-producing yearns ago cellulose-based material ‘paper’ through reed-like plant called mulberry tree inner barks pulping its fibers disseminating gooey substance rinsing/drying several times until dried flat surface then… voila, portable writing material that just revolutionized their literary world! during the 1st century A.D. This type of paper would be improved years later by European explorers such as Marco Polo and Arabs who made it from cotton.

Final Thoughts:

The history of paper and its role in human communication is a testament to our need for preservation, innovation, and creativity throughout centuries. From clay tablets to wax tablets to parchment scrolls – each new medium represented a significant advancement in how we recorded and shared ideas with one another.

Today, modern paper production processes have made high-quality printing available across the globe at lower costs while preserving sustainability towards environmental cause(s). In conclusion better technology procedures could soon further enhance ways developed over time leading towards more effective methods means of recording + processing information transforming future generations into even more educated societies+ making this world always connected through mass-literary mediums whether hand-made or machine generated – Thus evolving written language culture for the best possible outcomes overall!