Hot Line: +99871 2371241, +99897 2371167, +99890 9897327

English Русский

Home | Contacts | About us

Catalog of Tours

Great Silk Road Tours

Tours To Central Asia


Art of Uzbekistan

Nature of Uzbekistan


Tourism in Uzbekistan

Last articles

History of Samarkand paper

Presentation of the tourist potential of Uzbekistan in Berlin

Uzbekistan is on the tourist market in Belgium

Uzbek Cuisine

Customs and traditions of people of Uzbekistan





Transport Service






Uzbekistan travel and tourism directory


Caravan Travel China

Find out your ranking on google

International Caravan Travel Service

Local Time

In Tashkent:
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:32:12 +0500


Online: 1

Locations of visitors

History of Samarkand paper

Posted: Admin

Date: 2010-06-08

A word to consider next time you open a new ream of shiny white paper is the Arabic word rizmah. It means a bale or a bundle. The Spanish made rizmah into resma, and the French made reyme of it. It finally became the English word ream -- a bundle of twenty quires (or 500 sheets) of paper. That word-trail matches the trail of paper almost perfectly as it moved from the east to the west.

The Chinese invented paper in 49 BC. They began using it as a writing material in AD 105. By the seventh century, the use of paper had spread east to Japan and west to Samarkand.

That was just after Islam had begun spreading outward from the mid-East. Paper and Islam converged when Arab forces reached Samarkand, where paper had been in use for just two generations. Under Arab rule, Samarkand became a paper-making center.

All paper is made of plant fibers of one sort or another, and Samarkand paper was made of mulberry fiber. Two recollections linger with me after my visit to Samarkand years ago. They are the beautiful mosques and air heavy with the smell of mulberry.

The Arabs also made paper centers of Baghdad and Damascus. The intellectual center of the world had, for a long time, been the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the papyrus-rich Nile Delta.

Pergamon, in western Turkey, had become a parchment-based intellectual center, and parchment would become Europe's writing material. But, in the 8th century, intellectual ascendancy passed to Baghdad, and it came to rest on the new writing medium of paper.

Historian Jonathan Bloom drives home the importance of that fact. Before we had cheap and abundant paper, arithmetic involved erasing and shifting numbers -- operations that could be done on slate, but not paper. In AD 952, Arab mathematician al-Uqlidisi used Indian algorithms to create neat once-through methods that could be done on paper. Paper drove the creation of our methods for doing multiplication and long division.

The use of paper slowly crept westward. Cairo was making paper by the 10th century, Tunisia and Islamic Spain by the 11th. Paper didn't cross the Pyrenees into Europe. Rather, it entered by way of Islamic Sicily. It was being made in Italy by 1268.

Both Hebrew and Islamic scripture had first been put on parchment. Both religions were reluctant to put scripture on anything so modest as paper, despite its strength and durability. The flow of paper into Europe was also slowed by Christians, who called it an infidel technology. Central Europe didn't take up paper until the 14th century, and England only at the end of the 15th.

Not until 1578 did paper reach Russia after its long looping trip from China, through Samarkand, into the Holy Land, across North Africa, up into Europe and finally to Moscow. But the great nexus in this glacial migration of paper was Samarkand -- ancient, sunlit, and sweetly perfumed with the delicate smell of mulberry.

I'm John Lienhard, at the University of Houston, where we're interested in the way inventive minds work.

Views: 7122

General Information

Capital Tashkent
Official languages Uzbek
Recognised regional languages Karakalpak
Government Presidential republic
Area 447,400 km2
Population 27,372,000
Currency Uzbekistan som
Time zone UZT (UTC+5)
Internet TLD .uz
Calling code 998

Hotels in Uzbekistan

Hotels in Tashkent

Hotels in Samarkand

Hotels in Bukhara

Hotels in Khiva

Hotels in Ferghana

Hotels in Nukus

Hotels in Termez

Hotels in Shakhrisabz

Hotels in Uzbekistan

Hotels in Tashkent

Hotels in Samarkand

Hotels in Bukhara

Hotels in Khiva

Hotels in Ferghana

Hotels in Nukus

Hotels in Termez

Hotels in Shakhrisabz

Hotels in Kazakhstan

Hotels in Astana

Hotels in Almaty

Hotels in Shymkent

Hotels in Atyrau

Hotels in Kyzylorda

Hotels in Taraz

Hotels in Kyrgyzstan

Hotels of Bishkek

Hotels of Osh

Hotels in Tajikistan

Hotels in Dushanbe

Hotels in Turkmenistan

Hotels in Ashgabat

Hotels in Mary

Hotels in Turkmenbashi

Hotels in China

Hotels in Kashgar

Hotels in Urumqi

Hotels in Tashkurgan

Hotels in Hotan

Hotels in Yarkent

Hotels in Turpan

Hotles in Aksu

Hotels in Korla