Reed pen

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Egyptian reed pens inside ivory and wooden palettes, the Louvre[1]

Reed pens (Greek: κάλαμοι kalamoi; singular κάλαμος kalamos) are a type of writing implement made by cutting and shaping a single reed straw or length of bamboo. Reed pens with regular features such as a split nib have been found in Ancient Egyptian sites dating from the 4th century BC. Reed pens were used for writing on papyrus, and were the most common writing implement in antiquity.

Reed pens are stiffer than quill pens cut from feathers and do not retain a sharp point for as long, this led to their being replaced by quills.[2] Nevertheless a reed pen can make bold strokes, and it remains an important tool in calligraphy.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Palette de scribe". Antiquités égyptiennes du Louvre (in French). 
  2. ^ Glossary definition from
  3. ^ Gottfried Pott – A Look into the World of Calligraphy from

External links[edit]