What Did the Ancient Egyptians Write With?

The reed pen was the tool used by most ancient Egyptian scribes. Reed pens are formed by severing a reed straw from the plant, and then cutting and bruising one end to shape it for use and facilitate the absorption of pigments.

Scribes commonly carried a rectangular case for storing reed pens, pigments and a small pot or bowl for water. These pens were used with carbon black pigment, though a red tone made from iron oxide was also used. Reeds with split tips were used to draw finer lines. The reed pens were most often used on pottery, papyrus and leather.