Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Writing Materials
(1,705 words)

The 1st–6th centuries CE featured many important developments in the technology of handwriting and book production.

Writing Surfaces

For texts of considerable length, the most common writing surface in the Mediterranean world was papyrus (Fournet, 2021). Papyri have been discovered in places as widespread as Italy, Greece, and the Levant, but the dry climate of Egypt in particular has preserved countless examples. Papyrus reeds grow naturally in Egypt, which had…

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Longacre, Drew G., “Writing Materials”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2022

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