Papyrus and writing

The development of papyrus, a paperlike substrate for manuscripts, was a major step forward in Egyptian visual communications. In ancient times the Cyperus papyrus plant grew along the Nile in shallow marshes and pools. Egyptians made extensive use of this plant, whose 4.5-meter (15-foot) stems grew up out of the water. They used papyrus flowers for garlands at the temples; roots for fuel and utensils; and stems as the raw material for sails, mats, cloth, rope, sandals, and, most importantly, papyrus.


纸莎草是纸一样的基板手稿的 其发展是埃及视觉交流向前迈出的重要一步。在古代,纸莎草植物在尼罗河沿岸浅水沼泽和池塘生长。埃及人大量使用这种植物,其茎高出水面4.5米(15英尺)。他们用的纸莎草纸花为 寺庙的花环;根用于燃料和器具;茎作为帆的原料、垫子、布、绳、凉鞋以及最重要的是纸莎草。


In his Natural History, Roman historian Pliny the Elder (23–79 ce) tells how papyrus was made. After the rind was peeled away, the inner pith of the stems was cut into longitudinal strips and laid side by side. A second layer of strips was then laid on top of the first layer, at right angles to it. These two layers were soaked in the Nile River and then pressed or hammered until they were a single sheet—apparently, the glutinous sap of the papyrus stem acted as an adhesive. After drying in the sun, sheets were smoothed with an ivory or stone polisher. If such flaws as spots, stains, or spongy areas appeared, the faulty sheet would be peeled apart and remade. Eight different papyrus grades were made for uses ranging from royal proclamations to daily accounting. The finished sheets had an upper surface of horizontal fibers called the recto and a bottom surface of vertical fibers called the verso. The tallest papyrus sheets measured 49 centimeters (19 inches), and up to twenty sheets would be pasted together and rolled into a scroll, with the recto side facing inward.

罗马历史学家老普林尼(23-79 CE)在他的自然历史中告诉我们纸莎草纸是怎么做。剥去外皮后,将茎的内髓切成纵条并肩并排放置。然后将第二层条带放置在第一层的顶部,与其成直角。将这两层浸泡在尼罗河中然后压榨或锤打直到它们是单片 – 显然,纸莎草茎的糯汁液充当粘合剂。在阳光下干燥后,用象牙或石头抛光机平滑片材。如果出现斑点,污渍或海绵状区域等缺陷,则将有缺陷的薄片剥离并重新制作。制作了八种不同的纸莎草等级,用于从皇家宣言到日常会计。完成的片材具有称为正面的水平纤维的上表面和称为反面的垂直纤维的底面。最高的纸莎草纸张尺寸为49厘米(19英寸),最多20张纸被粘贴在一起并卷成卷轴,正面朝向内侧。

As in Sumer, knowledge was power, and the scribes gained significant authority in Egyptian society. Learning to read and write the complex language took many years, and the profession of scribe was highly respected and brought many privileges, not the least of which was exemption from taxation.

privileges 特权(某人或某团体独享的)特权,优惠
A privilege is a special right or advantage that only one person or group has
not the least of which 并不仅仅是

如同苏美人一样 在埃及知识就是力量,抄写员拥有巨大的权利,学习阅读和书写复杂的语言需要花许多年,抄写员这一职业备受尊崇并享受众多特权,并不仅仅是免除税收!

The wooden palette used by the scribe was a trademark identifying the carrier as being able to read and write (Fig. 1–28). The example shown is 32.5 centimeters (12 inches) long. One end has at least two depressions, to hold black, red, and sometimes other ink cakes. With a gum solution as a binder, carbon was used to make black ink and ground red ocher to make red ink. These were dried into cakes similar to contemporary watercolor blocks, and a wet brush would then be rubbed onto the cake to return the ink to a liquid state for writing. A slot in the middle of the palette held the brushes, which were made from rush stems. The stem tips were cut on an angle and chewed by the scribe to separate the fibers into a brush. wooden palette

抄写员使用的木质调色板是其作为证明他能阅读与书写的标志。范例展示的是32.5厘米(12英尺)长,抄写员使用的木制调色板是识别载体能够读写的商标(图1-28)。 显示的示例是32.5厘米(12英寸)长。 一端至少有两个凹陷,用于容纳黑色,红色,有时还有其他墨水饼。 使用胶溶液作为粘合剂,使用碳来制造黑色墨水和研磨的红色赭石以制备红色墨水。 将它们干燥成类似于现代水彩块的蛋糕,然后将湿刷擦在蛋糕上以使油墨返回液态以便书写。 调色板中间的一个槽固定刷子,这些刷子是由蔺草茎制成的。 将茎尖切成一定角度并由划线器咀嚼以将纤维分离成刷子。 木制调色板

Holding the scroll with his left hand, the scribe would begin at the outer right edge and write a column of hieroglyphs from top to bottom, writing column after column as shown in the mummy shroud fragment of Tuthmosis III (Fig. 1–29). This hieroglyphic book handwriting evolved from themonumental form—the scribes simplified the inscriptional hieroglyphs from a carefully constructed picture to a quickly drawn gesture

用左手握住卷轴,划线将从右上边缘开始,从上到下写一列象形文字,按照Tuthmosis III的木乃伊护罩碎片所示,逐列写入(图1-29)。 这种象形文字书籍笔迹从纪念性形式演变而来 – 文士将铭文象形文字从精心构造的图片简化为快速绘制的手势。