as Cyperis papyrus is also called. or paper plant, is a member of the sedge family (Cyperaceae). papyrus is an aquatic plant that has woody, bluntly triangular stems and grows up to about 15 feet in quietly flowing water up to three feet deep and the stem can grow up to six centimeters in width near the top , First, several hundred C. papyrus stalks were cut a few feet above their rhizomes and the umbels of leaves were removed. The lower part of the plant is not suited for making papyrus.
The green, outer layers were removed and the inner "pith" was soaked in water. The C. papyrus stem has no true pith, instead it has an inner cortex with vascular bundles scattered through it. After soaking the inner portion of the stem it is either sliced into thin vertical strips or pealed continuously down to its core. The strips were then laid very close together, even somewhat overlapping, on a flat surface. A second layer was then laid on top of the first layer but it was placed perpendicular to the first. The sheet was then pressed, possibly by a large stone, or rolled to mesh the two layers together. The papyrus was then allowed to dry for about three weeks in the sun (1). The gum-like sap of the stems acted as an adhesive that held the layers together (4). Animal rock, shells, or animal teeth were probably used to flatten irregularities in the sheets (1). The sheets of papyrus, varying from 12.5 by 22.5 cm to about 22.5 by 37.5 cm, were made into rolls approximately six to nine meters in length (7).
Cyperus papyrus has not only been used to manufacture paper. Papyrus has also been used to make sandals, boxes, ropes, mats, cloth, and building materials. The reeds were also bundled to make boats; a scene from an ancient temple also depicts a boatman wearing a collar of papyrus as a life preserver (1). Old papyrus paper was also recycled into mummy wrappings. The pith and rhizomes were also boiled and eaten, and the rhizomes were dried and used for fuel (1).
Ancient Egyptians kept records of their pyramid building activities on papyrus sheets, the library of Alexandria had the greatest collection of papyrus information until it was destroyed by the Romans. Papyrus is native to the lakes and rivers of northern Africa, in particular, the countries of Egypt and Sudan. The Egyptian discovery of paper made from papyrus started a tradition of written records that enables us to peek at life in the ancient world. The ancient Egyptians were using papyrus to make paper more than five thousand years ago to make the first paper
The earliest account of how to make the paper is given by Pliny the Elder, a Roman citizen from the first century B.C. Even though the Egyptians did not leave a record of how they made papyrus it is probably similar to the Roman method of the first century A.D., since the Romans learned how to make papyrus from the Egyptians.
Today the most important uses of papyrus are that of ecological resources. The rhizomes of the plant prevent soil erosion and trap polluted sediments A study from 1997 showed that Cyperus papyrus is useful in wastewater treatment. The study showed that papyrus reduced the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewater by more than fifty percent in seven to eight months