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  Mankind has always sought to improve ways of communicating and recording thoughts.Centuries ago when paper was not yet invented, human beings used many different materials to record information. Items such as stone, bronze, waxed boards, wood, papyrus, clay, parchment, vellum, cloth, silk, tree leaves, bark, and rice-pith "paper" have all been used as writing materials. It wasn't until the invention of paper that information could be recorded and distributed cheaply and in large quantity.

Bark has also been used as writing materials. Sheets and rolls of bark has been used by people in the Himalayan region and in the Americas.In many Pacific cultures, "bark cloth" is made by beating moistened sections of bark with a serrated beater.Later, after that process, vegetable adhesives and gums were used to join sections of this bark cloth into sheets of considerable size. Long strips of bark, some of which were thirty feet, were famous with the Batak people.The Batak people originating from Indonesia used this strips of bark and kept them by folding them accordion-style and bound between wooden covers. The contents of these barks were usually recorded information on genealogy, religion, divination and magic.

The Fatsiapapyrifera plant was used by the Chinese to invent something that came close to real paper. They managed to create
rice-pith paper which were traditionally used as a medium for painting.
  Clay slabs was widely used by the Sumerians around 4000 B.C. The Sumerians who populated southern Mesopotamia and Chaldaea were the first to developed cuneiform.Cuneiform are writings in the form of pictographs.Cuneiform writing was done on clay slabs since clay was readily available in the region. Cuneiform writing soon evolved into wedge-shaped characters that were drawn with the edge of a stylus.

Tree leaves of the bai-lan tree (similar to palm leaves) were trimmed, flattened, and polished smooth with sand to be used as writing materials.The bai-lan tree was popular in India and Southeast Asia to record Buddhist scriptures, law, biographical information, and Sanskrit literature.To write on the leaves,Tibetans scratched characters on the surface and colored in with a black, sooty pigment.The leaves were then drilled with holes and bound together on a cord or rod between wooden covers.

Another writing material that is of importance to the evolution of paper is the
Papyrus. Papyrus which was found to be in abundance on the lower Nile made it an important symbol in Egyptian architecture and religion. Ancient Egyptians invented the first substance like paper as we know it. Papyrus was a woven mat of reeds, pounded together into a hard, thin sheet. The word "paper" actually comes from the word "papyrus". Later on in history, the Ancient Greeks used a kind of parchment made from animal skins for the same purpose.