History of Paper - Timeline - 500

Part of the fun of technology is knowing when and how it began and how it developed over time. Here is a brief summary of the history of paper.

When we talk about the process of making paper it is important to know exactly what "paper" is. For this reason we need to establish a definition of paper.

"To be classed as true paper the thin sheets must be made from fibre that has been macerated until each individual filament is a separate unit; the fibres intermixed with water, and by the use of a sieve-like screen, the fibres lifted from the water in the form of a thin stratum, the water draining through the small openings of the screen, leaving a sheet of matted fibre upon the screen's surface. This thin layer of intertwined fibre is paper."

(Hunter, Papermaking, p.5)

From here we can establish a timeline for the history of paper- making and printing, including associated historic events. This may  seem like a long history, but considering wasps have been making paper since before the dinosaurs, this is just a brief history.

- Years -
< 500 | 500 - 1000 | 1000 - 1500 |1500 >

c. 200 BCE  Rosetta Stone engraved in Egypt; Parchment manufacture refined in Pergamon.(Asia Minor); use of gears leads to invention of ox-driven water wheel for irrigation.
c. 150 BCE  Chinese make oldest known paper from macerated hemp fibers, plant bark, and old fishnets in a water suspension.
149  Hu Shin produces Chinese dictionary of 10,000 characters.
79  Mt. Vesuvius erupts: Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae destroyed.
105 CE  Ts'ai Lun, in China, writes the first record of papermaking. The art is practiced in Tun Huang in 150, in Loulan by 200 and in Niya about 250-300.
250  Diophantus of Alexandria produces the first book on algebra.
c. 271  First form of compass used in China.
400  First records of Japanese history.
425  Founding of Constantinople University.
500   Mayans already using amatl (bark paper) by this time.
c. 500  Incense introduced into Christian church service.

< 500 | 500 - 1000 | 1000 - 1500 |1500 >
- Years -


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