How paper was made in the villages in the 20th century (and likely the same as days of old)
Paper is pretty much everywhere today. Books abound in the billions, posters and cups and plates, wrapping and even decorative for walls, all made of paper. Of course if you were one of the ancient Maya, you would not simply walk to a store and have endless choices. Paper had to be made so that scribes had something to write on besides stelae and vessels.
Based on reports of how paper was made in some Mexican villages in the 20th century (and likely the same as days of old), the inner bark of the wild fig tree was extracted, soaked and boiled in water treated with lime or ash, rinsed, laid out on a wooden board, pounded with the bark beater until nice and flattened, dried in the sun, peeled off, smoothed with a stone, then covered in a thin layer of plaster before the scribes could begin to write. Whew!
Photographs courtesy Institute of Archaeology
Click here to comment on this picture.