The widespread use throughout the ancient world of the writing material manufactured from the papyrus plant is attested by early writers, and by documents and sculptures.
He would even be drawn into this process by his writing materials, which were papyrus rolls of some magnitude; he would tend to write discourses on separate rolls, and then fasten them together in a bundle into a treatise.
Moreover, we possess enumerations of towns in the geographical lists of the temple of Karnak and in a hieratic papyrus dating about 200 years after Tethmosis III.
They also make from straw and papyrus peel strong and beautiful mats and baskets in great variety, some of much fineness and delicacy, and also hats resembling those of Panama.
That the plant was itself used also as the principal material in the construction of light skiffs suitable for the navigation of the pools and shallows of the Nile, and even of the river itself, is shown by sculptures of the fourth dynasty, in which men are represented building a boat with stems cut from a neighbouring plantation of papyrus (Lepsius, Denkm.
Receipts given in the Leiden papyrus reappear in the Compositiones ad Tingenda and the Mappae Clavicula, both workshop receipt books, one known in an 8th-century MS. at Lucca, and the other in a loth-century MS. in the library of Schlettstadt; and again in such works as the De Artibus Romanorum of Eraclius and the Schedula Diversarum Artium of Theophilus, belonging to the 11th or 12th century.
For boatbuilding papyrus stems and acacia wood were employed, and for the best work cedar-wood was imported from Lebanon.
In the Saite period a sort of standard edition was drawn up, consisting of 165 chapters in a fixed order and with a common title the book of going forth in the day; this recension was published by Lepsius in 1842 from a Turin papyrus Like the Pyramid texts, the Book of the Dead served a funerary purpose, but its contents are far more heterogeneous; besides chapters enabling the dead man to assume what shape he will, or to issue triumphant from the last judgment, there are lists of gates to be passed and demons to be encountered in the nether world, formulae such as are inscribed on sepulchral figures and amulets, and even hymns to the sun-god.
The words map and chart are derived from mappa and charta, the former being the Latin for napkin or cloth, the latter for papyrus or parchment.
Thompson, The Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden (London, 1904).