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According to ancient Chinese historical sources, a court eunuch named Ts'ai Lun (or Cai Lun) presented newly-invented paper to the Emperor Hedi of the Eastern Han Dynasty in 105 CE.The historian Fan Hua (398-445 CE) recorded this version of events, but archaeological finds from western China and Tibet suggest that paper was invented centuries earlier.This early adoption of paper fueled the Korean innovations in printing, as well; metal movable type was invented by 1234 CE on the peninsula.

The dry climate in these places allowed paper to survive for up to 2,000 years without completely decomposing.

Amazingly, some of this paper even has ink marks on it, proving that ink too was invented much earlier than historians had supposed.

In the 500s CE, artisans on the Korean Peninsula began to make paper using many of the same materials as Chinese paper-makers.

The Koreans also used rice straw and seaweed, expanding the types of fiber available for paper production.

The other end of the paper was attached to a thin wooden dowel, with a piece of silk cord in the middle to tie the scroll shut.

From its point of origin in China, the idea and technology of paper-making spread throughout Asia.In China, many early works were recorded on long bamboo strips, which were then bound with leather straps or string into books.People world-wide also carved very important notations into stone or bone, or pressed stamps into wet clay and then dried or fired the tablets to preserve their words.Paper-making technology also spread west through Tibet and then south into India.In 751 CE, the armies of Tang China and the ever-expanding Arab Abbasid Empire clashed in the Battle of Talas River, in what is now Kyrgyzstan.From there, this Chinese invention passed to Italy, Germany, and other parts of Europe.