The Ashmolean Museum

Antique scrap paper. Broken pieces of pottery and flakes of limestone were often used for notes, sketches and inconsequential writings in ancient Egypt, where sheets of papyrus were too valuable to waste. Sometimes students used larger flakes as copy books. On this one now in the Ashmolean Museum, a diligent pupil copied the story of Sinuhe, an Egyptian official who accidentally hears of the probable assassination of his king and, fearful because he knows this secret, flees to Asia. The account of his travels is a major source of information about the 20th century B.C.