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Paper is a material used for writing, printing, packaging, wrapping, cleaning and other uses. It is a thin material made of fibers, usually cellulose from wood pulp or from other plant fibers wood, such as rice, rags or grasses.

The word paper comes from papyrus, which was an early form of writing material used in ancient Egypt. Papyrus however, is not paper - it is reed strips pounded together. True paper, or paper made from the cellulose and wood pulp of plant materials, was invented in the Han Dynasty around the 2nd century B.C. In Mediaeval Europe parchment or vellum was made from animal skin. Unually calf skin or sheep skin was used. Books were made from parchment the way paper is used today.