The first human-made paper was made by an Egyptian mummy and it’s now one of the most popular ways of making paper.
The discovery, which was made in the Egyptian city of Khartoum, was reported in Science magazine.
Dr Adnan El-Mofty, an anthropologist at the University of Oxford, said the discovery was the first “new, non-bacteria-based, naturally occurring, biological, material that we know of” to have been created in the past 20,000 years.
“Papermaking is a technology that’s a legacy of human history and is not the product of technological development.
It is a product of culture and civilisation,” he said.
The ancient Egyptians used wood for their papermaking process, and in their “graphic and painting work” were able to make the most of the materials they had at hand.
Egyptian archaeologist Mohamed el-Khayyat said: “Papermaking in Egypt was the earliest known technology for making durable, light, lightweight, durable and flexible fibres.”
He said it was also used in the manufacture of pottery.
“In this period, the first paper is created, so it is the earliest evidence of this technique being used in a culture that has been around for some 20, 000 years,” he told BBC News.
“The paper is made of fibres and there are a number of different materials, and paper has a different shape to wood.”
He told the BBC the Egyptian paper was “made by the hand, not machine”.
Dr El-Khaysyat added: “This discovery confirms that the earliest forms of paper are made using a human hand.”
It’s the first time that you can make a paper from a piece of human flesh.
“He added that the Egyptian mummy’s discovery was a “very significant discovery” and that it was “a very important milestone” for the research field.
Dr Elmoughy added: “[The papermaking technique] was a very important component of the history of civilisation in Egypt”.
The paper was first found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian mummy discovered in 2014.
It is the oldest known “biofabricated” paper made in modern times, and was found by Egyptian archaeologists in the 20th century.