Papyrus is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Papyrus is first known to have been used in ancient Egypt. Chemically, papyrus is composed of 57 percent cellulose, 27 percent lignin, nine percent minerals, and seven percent water.Papyrus was first manufactured in Egypt as far back as the third millennium BCE. In the first centuries BCE and CE, papyrus scrolls gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parchment, which was prepared from animal skins. Sheets of parchment were folded to form quires from which book-form codices were fashioned. Early Christian writers soon adopted the codex form, and in the Greco-Roman world it became common to cut sheets from papyrus rolls to form codices.
Codices were an improvement on the papyrus scroll as the papyrus was not pliable enough to fold without cracking and a long roll, or scroll, was required to create large volume texts. Papyrus had the advantage of being relatively cheap and easy to produce, but it was fragile and susceptible to both moisture and excessive dryness. Unless the papyrus was of good quality, the writing surface was irregular, and the range of media that could be used was also limited.
Papyrus was replaced in Europe by the cheaper locally-produced products parchment and vellum, of significantly higher durability in moist climates. Its last appearance in the Merovingian chancery is with a document of 692, though it was known in Gaul until the middle of the following century. The latest certain dates for the use of papyrus are 1057 for a papal decree. All papal "bulls" were on papyrus until 1022. Its use in Egypt continued until it was replaced by more inexpensive paper introduced by Arabs. Papyrus was documented as in use as late as the 12th century in the Byzantine Empire, but there are no surviving examples. Although its uses had transferred to parchment, papyrus therefore just overlapped with the use of paper in Europe, which began in the 11th century. Papyrus came in several qualities and prices;
Until the middle of the 19th century only some isolated documents written on papyrus were known. They did not contain literary works. The first discovery of papyri rolls in modern days was made at Herculaneum in 1752. Before that date the only papyri known were a few survivals from mediaeval times.
Courtesy excerpts from Wikipedia
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,