Ostraca: pronounced "oh-stra-ka"
Osctraca is a thin, smooth flake of limestone used by ancient Egyptians for making notes, sketches and calculations.
Not only was Ostraca more affordable than papyrus, it was a lot more durable. In fact, it pretty much lasts forever. Why is this good? Well, for us it's great. It means we can dig up their ancient notes and read them. That is pretty amazing, you have to admit. To be able to read notes written thousands of years ago by everyday people? In fact, it's quite incredible and useful too.
Papyrus paper dissolved after a certain amount of time, unless it was stored carefully in a dry tomb. On the other hand, many notes kept in households on Ostraca still exist today. These Ancient Egyptians notes scribbled on ostraca have lasted through the ages. We can piece together a picture of their lives by reading them. We can find out record-keeping details such as items they purchased or bartered for, as well as notes written between friends, families, and couples.