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At the center of the most vital human-plant relationship in history, Papyrus evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world's wetlands and atmospheric stability. From ancient Pharos to 21st Century water wars, papyrus is a unique plant that is still one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It produces its own "soil"-a peaty, matrix t At the center of the most vital human-plant relationship in history, Papyrus evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world's wetlands and atmospheric stability. From ancient Pharos to 21st Century water wars, papyrus is a unique plant that is still one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It produces its own "soil"-a peaty, matrix that floats on water-and its stems inspired the fluted columns of the ancient Greeks. In ancient Egypt, the papyrus bounty from the Nile delta provided not just paper for record keeping-instrumental to the development of civilization-but food, fuel and boats. Disastrous weather in the 6th Century caused famines and plagues that almost wiped out civilization in the west, but it was papyrus paper in scrolls and codices that kept the record of our early days and allowed the thread of history to remain unbroken. The sworn enemy of oblivion and the guardian of our immortality it came to our rescue then and will again. Today, it is not just a curious relic of our ancient past, but a rescuing force for modern ecological and societal blight. In an ironic twist, Egypt is faced with enormous pollution loads that forces them to import food supplies, and yet papyrus is one of the most effective and efficient natural pollution filters known to man. Papyrus was the key in stemming the devastation to the Sea of Galilee and Jordan River from raging peat fires (that last for years), heavy metal pollution in the Zambezi River Copperbelt and the papyrus laden shores of Lake Victoria-which provides water to more than 30 million people-will be crucial as the global drying of the climate continues. 8 page insert, illustrations throughout.


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At the center of the most vital human-plant relationship in history, Papyrus evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world's wetlands and atmospheric stability. From ancient Pharos to 21st Century water wars, papyrus is a unique plant that is still one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It produces its own "soil"-a peaty, matrix t At the center of the most vital human-plant relationship in history, Papyrus evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world's wetlands and atmospheric stability. From ancient Pharos to 21st Century water wars, papyrus is a unique plant that is still one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It produces its own "soil"-a peaty, matrix that floats on water-and its stems inspired the fluted columns of the ancient Greeks. In ancient Egypt, the papyrus bounty from the Nile delta provided not just paper for record keeping-instrumental to the development of civilization-but food, fuel and boats. Disastrous weather in the 6th Century caused famines and plagues that almost wiped out civilization in the west, but it was papyrus paper in scrolls and codices that kept the record of our early days and allowed the thread of history to remain unbroken. The sworn enemy of oblivion and the guardian of our immortality it came to our rescue then and will again. Today, it is not just a curious relic of our ancient past, but a rescuing force for modern ecological and societal blight. In an ironic twist, Egypt is faced with enormous pollution loads that forces them to import food supplies, and yet papyrus is one of the most effective and efficient natural pollution filters known to man. Papyrus was the key in stemming the devastation to the Sea of Galilee and Jordan River from raging peat fires (that last for years), heavy metal pollution in the Zambezi River Copperbelt and the papyrus laden shores of Lake Victoria-which provides water to more than 30 million people-will be crucial as the global drying of the climate continues. 8 page insert, illustrations throughout.

30 review for Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars

  1. 4 out of 5

    Iset

    Ecologist and writer John Gaudet, who has spent decades studying the papyrus plant, here explains why the plant was so prevalent in the ancient Egyptian mind, why it was crucial to the rise of civilisation in the Nile valley, how its multiplicity of uses made it a global industry, and how swamps and wetlands across the world are fading away, and with it the unique marsh-dwelling culture of those who live there, and how papyrus can help re-establish a healthy, balanced ecosystem. A little on where Ecologist and writer John Gaudet, who has spent decades studying the papyrus plant, here explains why the plant was so prevalent in the ancient Egyptian mind, why it was crucial to the rise of civilisation in the Nile valley, how its multiplicity of uses made it a global industry, and how swamps and wetlands across the world are fading away, and with it the unique marsh-dwelling culture of those who live there, and how papyrus can help re-establish a healthy, balanced ecosystem. A little on where I’m coming from, in regards to this book. I’m an Egyptologist; an ancient historian-cum-archaeologist with a specialised knowledge of ancient Egypt, and a broader knowledge of other areas of history (in my case, the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, Early Modern western Europe, and the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic). I’m not an ecologist, although I’ve done a little crossover work in the landscape of ancient Egypt and palaeobotany, and I understand the fundamentals of ecosystems, how they work, and why they’re important. So I came to this book hoping to find out more about this extraordinary plant which features rather large in Egyptology, and learn more about the ecological side of it which is really outside my area of expertise. I have to say, I feel Gaudet delivers. The writing style is a fusion of specialist knowledge with populist accessibility; and that, I feel, is pitched exactly right, as it allows the general reader in whilst still being authoritative. I certainly got the sense that Gaudet is an expert on his subject, whilst the book still managed to maintain a certain conversational style by use of anecdotes to introduce the different chapters. The book begins by broadly discussing papyrus’ role in history and its importance in the ancient world. This was the section where I was most at home, although, slightly embarrassingly, I did not know previously that the ancient Egyptians made use of papyrus bundles as life jackets, or at least had not remembered it. Although much of this was not new to me, it really helped to read it and remind me of the sheer scale of the papyrus products industry in the ancient world, and its importance. Gaudet also discusses the culture of marsh dwellers across the globe, from the Mississippi to the Okavango, from the Congo to the Tigris and Euphrates. This was very interesting, picking out the similarities between the marsh cultures whilst noting the differences. I think Gaudet makes a convincing case for a certain degree of shared aspects of marsh culture globally. What I would consider to be the heart of the book is where Gaudet discusses the loss of wetlands across the planet, how this came about, the devastating effect it has had on the environment and why that has implications for all of us, and how papyrus can help to rehabilitate and re-establish such biospheres. It makes for grim reading at times, but awareness of the huge importance of wetlands is growing, and steps can be taken to reverse their shrinkage and loss. I just had one tiny niggle, in the whole of the book, which arises as a result of coming to this book as an Egyptologist in contrast to the author who is an ecologist with a crossover interest in ancient Egypt. If you don't want to see me talk about very specialised Egyptology stuff, look away now. (view spoiler)[On page 80, when Gaudet is discussing the transition of Egypt from a wetlands savannah to the drier climate which prompted the early Egyptians to settle along the river, Gaudet writes: “von Rosen’s paper suggests he wouldn't be at all surprised if someday someone found progenitors in Egypt who came from Africa via papyrus rafts. That there may be some basis for this theory comes from a story released in 2009 by a BBC news team. After examining the remains of Cleopatra’s sister Princess Arsinoe, found in Ephesus, Turkey, Hilke Thuer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences concluded that the mother of the two women had African facial features.” My apologies to Gaudet for taking issue here in what is otherwise an excellent book, but I feel I must interject here, as an Egyptologist whose specialism just happens to be on the Ptolemies (Kleopatra VII’s dynasty). First, I’m a little baffled as to what the Ptolemies have to do with the discussion about the origins of the ancient Egyptians. It is posited that the first Egyptians settled along the Nile valley sometime between the Holocene, which began c. 9700 BCE, the warm interglacial we are currently in which caused a climate shift in Egypt from a wetter, savannah environment to the drier environs we are more familiar with, and the pre-Dynastic era (c. 2500 BCE, at which we get our first glimpse of a flourishing civilisation undergoing unification). My personal view of the matter is that I find it quite convincing that the ancient Egyptians probably arose from pre-existing savannah and wetlands hunter-gatherers who were forced to settle along the river’s edge when these fertile areas disappeared (another hypothesis has it that Egypt was settled by peoples from Mesopotamia, replacing any local natives, and some similarities in early art styles are pointed to as evidence of this; however I find this unconvincing in light of thriving trade even in those early times, and lack of any substantial evidence to support this particular idea). However, I fail to see where the Ptolemies come into it. The Ptolemaic dynasty was established by Ptolemy I, a general of Alexander the Great, and they were a dynasty of foreign Macedonians, c. 305 – 31 BCE. Therefore, whether or not the last of the Ptolemies had African descent has little relation to where the ancient Egyptians originated from c. 9700 – 2500 BCE. Second, I know the story that Gaudet is referring to well, having studied it extensively, however I checked the footnotes just to be sure and indeed in the references Gaudet cites this news article from the BBC which touts the television programme Cleopatra:Portrait of a Killer: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/also_in_th... I would point out that this news story hardly constitutes a credible reference, and itself contains no references whatsoever to the original papers by the actual researchers themselves. Leaving that aside, however, the discovery of “Princess Arsinoe” and her potential mixed race heritage is extremely dubious. The identity of the remains found in the Ephesus tomb is based on 100% circumstantial evidence. Arsinoe was murdered in Ephesus – this comes to us from Cassius Dio, who was writing 270 years after, needless to say leaving a question mark over his reliability at such a distant remove and what his sources were. The remains examined from the tomb completely lack a skull because the skull was removed to Germany in the 1920s and lost during World War II, making examination of the original dental and facial features impossible; the programme’s forensic analyst Dr Kanz suggests that the individual was aged between 15 and 18 at death based on bone growth, condition, and slender morphology – however the real determinative for the individual’s age would be the dental evidence, which as aforementioned is absent. The proposed age of 15 – 18 for these bones is also somewhat problematic as if the remains really are of the princess this would mean that Arsinoe led the uprising against Caesar and Kleopatra VII aged between 8 and 11 – needless to say, rather unusual. The bones were carbon dated to give a date between 200 and 20 BCE, so whoever these remains are of they did live at the right time, and the morphology clearly indicates a young female, but that’s still a long way from proving the remains are of Arsinoe, and the bracket is still huge. The missing skull’s dimensions were however noted down before it was lost, and photographs were taken of it; Thuer’s team then uses this to create a three-dimensional recreation using computer graphics. But the facial reconstruction specialist says just before this; “we can take a template skull of a similar age, sex and ethnicity into the space and then alter that to fit the morphology, the shape that you can see of the skull on the images.” Similar age, sex, and ethnicity to what – the remains that they still have of the unknown tomb occupant, or to Arsinoe herself? There seems to be a degree of biasing the results here; the template chosen to recreate the skull is chosen on the basis of its similarity to what they are already expecting to find. The programme argues that the remains are Arsinoe specifically not just because it’s roughly the right age and period of history, but because the pillars of the tomb are shaped like papyrus bundles, suggesting a connection to Egypt, and the outer construction is octagonal and the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria famously had an octagonal section. This is what we call circumstantial evidence. It suggests an Egyptian connection, but doesn’t prove it, and sadly nowhere in the tomb are there any inscriptions to name the remains. The tomb could equally belong to another young woman with an Egyptian connection living at the right time – Ephesus was a cosmopolitan city of the Roman Empire, and this is very possible. As for the African ancestry proposed for this missing skull which is spliced together from a pre-selected template skull in their database which they chose on the basis of what they were expecting to find, Dr Caroline Wilkinson of the University of Dundee says: “The distance from the forehead to the back of the skull is long in relation to the overall height of the cranium, and that’s something that you see quite frequently in certain populations, one of which is ancient Egyptians, another would be black African groups will also show that characteristic. This one certainly looks more white European, but it has got this long head shape. It could suggest a mixture of ancestry.” Numerous forensic scientists and scholars have long since demonstrated that skull measurements are not a reliable indicator of race, including Franz Boas, Clarence C. Gravlee, H. Russell Bernard and William R. Leonard. Further, it’s the identity of Arsinoe and Kleopatra’s grandmother which is not known, not her mother, and whilst that lady could have been native Egyptian or even African, it’s exceptionally unlikely. All of the Ptolemies were of Hellenistic and Persian descent; they married into the other Hellenistic dynasties, and each other, to make alliances and preserve the security of the Ptolemaic empire. Only one non-Hellenistic liaison is ever recorded for the Ptolemies; Ptolemy II who had a native Egyptian mistress. Whilst the gap in the record for Kleopatra’s grandmother means it’s possible the lady was African or Egyptian, it’s still extremely unlikely. Chris Bennett, another Ptolemaic specialist, points out: “H. Thür, JOAI 60, 43 has suggested that the skeletal remains of a young female aristocrat found in the Octagon tomb in Ephesus are those of Arsinoe. The skull was photographed and measured in detail in the 1920s. It has since been lost, but a recent reconstruction based on the original measurements has led the forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson to conclude that, while the skull “looked more white European” its longheadedness “could suggest” some partly ethnic Egyptian descent. While this is a long way from the claims of “proof” of Egyptian ancestry which have been touted in the media, if it were correct, and if the skull was actually that of Arsinoe, then either the maternity suggested here [in Bennett’s research on the Ptolemaic family] for Arsinoe, or that of Cleopatra V, or that of Ptolemy XII, or of all of them, cannot be correct. However, the details have not yet been published or subject to expert review. Personally I am very doubtful of the validity of such conclusions, especially in cases of mixed ethnic origin, the reported basis of this conclusions -- that the skull was somewhat long-headed -- seems pretty flimsy, and, as best I can determine, Wilkinson does not actually make the claim of mixed ancestry attributed to her. Indeed there is evidence of circular reasoning: the reconstruction is reportedly partly based on "the historical background ... suggest[ing] a mixed ancestry".” At the end of the programme, the historical facial reconstruction revealed shows a young woman with dark eyes, dark hair, and a mid-tone complexion typical of those of mixed ancestry… but there’s a problem here too. The bones cannot indicate the colour of someone’s eyes, hair, or skin. The reconstruction’s choice of eye colour, hair colour, and skin tone is entirely arbitrary, based, I suspect, on the fact that they were already expecting to find Arsinoe and making assumptions about ancestry based on the questionmarks over her grandmother – as Bennett says, completely circular reasoning. The programme itself gets other facts wrong, such as saying there were only four legitimate children of Ptolemy XII; Kleopatra VII, Arsinoe, and Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. In fact they had an elder sister, Berenike IV. In any case, I would be highly dubious about accepting, as Gaudet does, not just Thuer’s claims but an unreferenced television programme article as credible evidence. (hide spoiler)] In conclusion, getting back to the book at hand, aside from a small issue, I feel this was an important and largely authoritative book that creates a wonderful study of marsh culture and ecology, full of interesting information and entertaining anecdotes, and a good read. 8 out of 10

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I had expected that a book on papyrus would be interesting, especially given my love of Ancient Egypt. Maybe it would have been if the author was a decent writer or had a decent editor, but as it stands this book was a joke. My generic gripe is that it was poorly written. The author is all over the place with his writing, with story/informational flow being optional. There are paragraphs inserted that are essentially unrelated to the topic at hand, as if the author/editor forgot to remove them fr I had expected that a book on papyrus would be interesting, especially given my love of Ancient Egypt. Maybe it would have been if the author was a decent writer or had a decent editor, but as it stands this book was a joke. My generic gripe is that it was poorly written. The author is all over the place with his writing, with story/informational flow being optional. There are paragraphs inserted that are essentially unrelated to the topic at hand, as if the author/editor forgot to remove them from earlier drafts. Far too often I was left scratching my head as to how we were suddenly on this topic/tangent that added absolutely nothing to the topic at hand or the book overall. Disjointed is probably too kind an adjective for this book. I also found so many errors in the book that were actually laughable. As in I literally laughed out loud many times. I ended up abandoning the book (life is too short for this crap) but here are a few favorites from before I did that: The most common large animals in African swamps are the amphibians, such as crocodiles and hippos..." P20 Crocodiles and hippos...amphibians. WTF? Even if you don't have a biology degree, I bet you do have Google. For fuck's sake neither one is even an amphibian, he didn't get one right. Sigh. I may give you "amphibious" but not a fucking amphibian. For reference: crocs are reptiles and hippos are mammals. Ugh. So began the tragic exodus made famous by Wordsworth's epic poem Evangeline..." P60 I just can't with this guy. Evangeline was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I'm guessing the whole Wadsworth/Wordsworth screwed him up but again, may I offer Google? Yet the Acadians remained God-fearing, morally pure individuals with large families in which illegitimate children were scarce. Outsiders found them generally free of malice and vengeance; they were, like the marsh people in Egypt, cheerful, light-hearted, and good." p62 You may be asking yourself "Acadians? I thought this was in Egypt?" Oh my friend, it is but this author felt it was a good idea to constantly compare the marsh people of Egypt to his own family tree of Acadians. FFS. I particularly love that he claims moral purity for these people, as if 1) anyone is and 2) everyone's morals are the same. This whole paragraph sounds like a freaking Mormon pamphlet or something. I honestly cannot take someone or their book seriously when they say things, in a non-fiction work about EGYPT, that this other group was "morally pure" and "good" etc. Just go away. That there may be some basis for this theory comes from a story released in 2009 by a BBC news team. After examining the remains of Cleopatra's sister Princess Arsinoe, found in Ephesus, Turkey, Hilke Thuer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences concluded that the evidence indicated that the mother of the two women had African facial features." P83 There's so much to unpack here. First of all, this paragraph, despite the "that there may be some basis" crap, does not support the previous paragraphs and came out of nowhere. (Essentially he mentions that the "progenitors of Egypt" could have come from Africa. Please, someone tell him where the fuck Egypt is.) WHY does this have anything to do with the Ptolemies that were ruling thousands of years later? As for Cleopatra's sister: 1) There is no evidence it is Arsinoe, in fact the age of the body indicates it pretty much cannot be. 2) The body found has NO SKULL. I repeat, no HEAD, which is where such a claim would be confirmed. It was taken in the early 1900s and so they had to work from secondhand information. 3) Arsinoe is thought to potentially be Cleopatra's half sister, only sharing the same father. The author using this one brief article that itself is likely wholly wrong about Cleopatra's sister to support a theory that need not even be in the book, which also references Egypt as if it isn't even on the continent of Africa, pretty much tells me all I need to know about this book. Oy, what a mess.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John Gaudet

    “Harvard University Belfer Center, Innovation Book of the Week: Papyrus The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars By John Gaudet -"A masterpiece in economic and historical botany. Congratulations on a great Book!"—Prof. Calestous Juma, Director Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, May 26, 2014 “Harvard University Belfer Center, Innovation Book of the Week: Papyrus The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars By John Gaudet -"A masterpiece in economic and historical botany. Congratulations on a great Book!"—Prof. Calestous Juma, Director Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, May 26, 2014

  4. 5 out of 5

    Max Marbles

    This is one of those “all inclusive” books. Like “Olives” or “Salt”, it starts with the plants history in Egypt, I enjoyed this the most, but like a sugar coating the author follows with the medicine. Essentially this book is an attempt to identify and offer ecological soundness to the madness of development in Africa. I got way more than I wanted, but am better for my struggles through the second half of what seems the common scenario of slash and burn political economics. I am convinced it is This is one of those “all inclusive” books. Like “Olives” or “Salt”, it starts with the plants history in Egypt, I enjoyed this the most, but like a sugar coating the author follows with the medicine. Essentially this book is an attempt to identify and offer ecological soundness to the madness of development in Africa. I got way more than I wanted, but am better for my struggles through the second half of what seems the common scenario of slash and burn political economics. I am convinced it is not in our collective DNA to ever make choices and have plans that consider the consequences of our greed and ignorance.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Shew. I read the second half of this book on the exercise bike. So it was read in 5-20 pages increments. Not conducive to learning, but it was an interesting book about the environmental travails in Africa and the Middle East where papyrus once covered the landscape. I kept wondering what had happened since the book was written. I also realized that my African geography is lousy. A little better now... My natural world geography is worse than my made-world geography (political boundaries.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book was so informative and a great read! I especially loved the history at the beginning and wished that section had been longer. However, the modern environmental section was so interesting and something I feel everyone should have to read. I learned so much about the impact we humans have on our environments and ways we can reverse those negative effects. Will definitely look for more by this author!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carole P. Roman

    Brilliant and lovingly researched book about the papyrus plant and it's importance in the world. John Gaudet delves into all aspects of the plant from ecological to it's many uses throughout history. Particularly interesting was the plant's impact on ancient Egypt and the many ways it was depicted in the artwork. Gaudet explains it's pivotal role in history and why it should be considered important today in the fight against pollution. Brilliant and lovingly researched book about the papyrus plant and it's importance in the world. John Gaudet delves into all aspects of the plant from ecological to it's many uses throughout history. Particularly interesting was the plant's impact on ancient Egypt and the many ways it was depicted in the artwork. Gaudet explains it's pivotal role in history and why it should be considered important today in the fight against pollution.

  8. 5 out of 5

    andrea

    Fascinating how papyrus dominated Egypt...have the book if you want it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    Interesting for those more interested in papyrus as a plant and ancient swamp ecology. Little attention paid to papyrus's best-known usage, as that of paper. Interesting for those more interested in papyrus as a plant and ancient swamp ecology. Little attention paid to papyrus's best-known usage, as that of paper.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Gay

    I was drawn to this book because of the history of papyrus. Until now I have only thought of papyrus as an ancient method of creating writing paper. As I read I became captivated by the images that John Gaudet has created of the floating density of the long green stems with the tufted heads. I actually went right to the movie “African Queen” to try to pick out all the papyrus in the swamp scenes and the first thing I noticed was the tied papyrus bundles that are used in the archways of the churc I was drawn to this book because of the history of papyrus. Until now I have only thought of papyrus as an ancient method of creating writing paper. As I read I became captivated by the images that John Gaudet has created of the floating density of the long green stems with the tufted heads. I actually went right to the movie “African Queen” to try to pick out all the papyrus in the swamp scenes and the first thing I noticed was the tied papyrus bundles that are used in the archways of the church. I read a lot of history and I can say that John has a great way of telling a story of facts and places that just keeps you reading. I then found myself totally immersed in a new world of papyrus swamp lands past and present with all its human, plant, fish and bird life. A very wonderful and captivating world. I can also say that after reading this book I have a much better understanding of what papyrus has offered African civilization in the past, how it still hangs on in the present and what it can continue to offer in the areas of water conservation in today’s abusive environments. I feel like I have just taken an excursion into a new world thanks to John Gaudet and his wonderful ability to tell such a story. It is interesting to think that the papyrus plant that helped enable the beginnings of human civilization can now offer help to a distressed environment in the exact same place it all started. Amazing... thank you John

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gay

    I really love history. As soon as I started papyrus, I realized this book is about people. Ancients and modern whose lives revolve around this unique plant that an entire civilization rises up around. seemingly infinite materials for paper, rope, building, weaving that were and are so important to people played such a role in so many monumental events, this plant certainly shaped all people in ways we couldn't imagine. never mind the ecosystem and wildlife it supports. Truly fascinating. I really love history. As soon as I started papyrus, I realized this book is about people. Ancients and modern whose lives revolve around this unique plant that an entire civilization rises up around. seemingly infinite materials for paper, rope, building, weaving that were and are so important to people played such a role in so many monumental events, this plant certainly shaped all people in ways we couldn't imagine. never mind the ecosystem and wildlife it supports. Truly fascinating.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Taita Teter

    This book will inspire people in Africa and elsewhere to look at wetlands in a better perspective especially coming from an ecologist who spent a life time in mosquito-crocodile-python-infested wetlands for the sake of providing information about important human and ecological services that papyrus wetlands provide.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lark

    Gaudet, despite his enthusiasm and parade of wonderful things that a papyrus swamp has to offer, refuses to accept that malaria is a large deterrent for people to build or re-build wetlands. Even if the swamps have so much good to offer, death or lifelong recurring illness is a pretty big stumbling block... Nevertheless, this book was an excellent read and very informative !

  14. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A fascinating account of the versatile plant that has done so much more besides providing the world with paper for the first four thousand years of its history. Gaudet would have his readers believe there's almost nothing papyrus cannot do in this lively, well-researched book. A fascinating account of the versatile plant that has done so much more besides providing the world with paper for the first four thousand years of its history. Gaudet would have his readers believe there's almost nothing papyrus cannot do in this lively, well-researched book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elentarri

    Well written and illustrated book about papyrus, including history, biology, uses, wetland functioning and water/sewage filtering. The book covers important topics and should be read by anyone even vaguely interested in the environment and water use.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    Mistake picked off the new publications shelf at the library. The book is disjointed collection of observations about swamps and various other unrelated items in poorly written prose. I had expected something of a more scientific nature.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela Farinola-zafiropoulos

    enjoyed reading this book, also had coworkers read they all enjoyed it learned how advanced the Egyptian world was so advanced in their ways.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Turi

    Well written and hugely informational, but dang, SO much more than I needed to know about papyrus.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Hausman

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pine Caro

    Great book

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna Wight

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gardeningdiva

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine Allen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason Szilagyi

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ds_Sourav

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yash

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  28. 5 out of 5

    James

  29. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn Otterspoor

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