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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2021

A Tale of Papermaking along the Silk Road

From the book Exploring Written Artefacts

  • Agnieszka Helman-Ważny


This study is a tale of the early history of papermaking in the Chinese borderlands as perceived through the materials that compose the manuscripts discovered in Central Asia. The manuscripts and printed books on paper excavated from archaeological sites in the ancient Silk Road kingdoms of Chinese Central Asia were examined for the raw materials used in their manufacture and the technology behind their production. The data retrieved by material analysis revealed the materials used for making the books, and the way that the materials have evolved with technological innovation. A wide range of types and qualities of paper, when interpreted chronologically according to dates included in the manuscripts, contributed to the timeline of the early history of paper.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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