Timeline from Paper, paging through History by Mark Kurlansky. Note that this is an American viewpoint. 38,000 BCE A red dot painted on the El Castillo cave in Northern Spain is thought to be the oldest image drawn by man. 3500 BCE Oldest writing ever found in Mesopotamia on limestone. 3300 BCE Oldest writing on clay tablet found in Uruk, southern Babylonia (Iraq), the beginning of cuneiform. 3000 BCE Date of oldest papyrus, a blank scroll in the tomb of Saqqara, near Cairo. 3000 BCE Beginning of Egyptian Hieroglyphic writing. 2500 BCE First script in the Indus valley. 2400 BCE Oldest known Egyptian book, written on woven linen. 2200 BCE Writing on copper and pottery in the Indus valley. 2100 BCE Date of the oldest piece of tapa, a fragment found in Peru. 1850 BCE Date of the oldest-known document written on leather, an Egyptian scroll. 18TH CENTURY BCE First writing system in Crete. 1400 BCE Writing on bones in China. 1300 BCE Writing on bronze, jade, and tortoise shell in China. 1200 BCE Characters for Chinese language developed. 1100 BCE Egyptians begin exporting papyrus, first to Phoenicians. 1000 BCE Phoenician alphabet begins. 600 BCE Zapotec/Mixtec writing in Mexico. 600 BCE Accounts written on wooden tablets in China and Greece. 5TH CENTURY BCE Chinese write on silk. 400 BCE The Ionian alphabet becomes standard in Greece. 400 BCE True ink from lampblack invented in China. 300 BCE King Eumenes Il of Pergamum, barred from importing papyrus, builds a library of 200,000 volumes in parchment. 3RD CENTURY BCE Library at Alexandria. 255 BCE First mention of seals in China but used without ink in clay. 252 BCE The dating of the oldest piece of paper ever found in Lu Lan, China. 250 BCE In China Meng Tian invents the camel's hair brush for calligraphy. 250 BCE Mayan hieroglyphic writing. 207 BCE Beginning of the Chinese Han dynasty, in which paper is developed. 63 BCE Strabo, the Greek geographer, writes of marveling at a watermill in the palace of Mithridates, King of Pontus, along the Black Sea. 31 BCE The earliest known Olmec glyph writing. 30 BCE Romans conquer Egypt and spread papyrus in the Mediterranean world. 1ST CENTURY CE Wax tablets used for temporary writing in Rome. 75 CE The last inscription written in cuneiform. 105 CE The eunuch Cai Lun of the Chinese Han court is credited with inventing paper. 2ND CENTURY CE Runic alphabet created in Scandinavia. 250—300 Approximate date of paper found in Turkestan. 256 First known book on paper, the Phi Yu Ching, produced in Chin 297 Earliest known Mayan calendar, carved in stone. 394 Last inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. 5TH CENTURY Japanese develop their own alphabet. 450 Date of earliest known writing on palm-leaf fragments of a manuscript found in northwestern China. 476 Official end of classical antiquity as the last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, is overthrown. 500 Mayans begin writing on amate. 500—600 Mayans develop bark paper. 548 The king of Paekche (Korea) sends sutra and statues made of paper to Japan. 610 Korean monk Dancho takes papermaking to Japan. 630 Muhammad conquers Mecca. 673 Monks at the temple of Kawahara begin copying Buddhist scriptures, which soon became a major activity in Japan. 8TH CENTURY China starts printing. 706 Arabs bring paper to Mecca An Arab-led Berber army crosses the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco into Spain. Earliest known piece of Japanese literature, Kojiki, is written in Chinese. 720 Use of paper in Japan greatly expands as Japan becomes Buddhist. 751 Papermaking in Samarkand begins. 762—66 Baghdad founded. 770 Japanese empress Shötoku orders the first known printing on paper, I million copies of a prayer to drive away disease. 795 Rag paper mill opened in Baghdad. 800 Paper first used in Egypt. 832 Muslim conquest of Sicily. 848 Date of the oldest-known complete book in Arabic on paper. 850 Estimated date of earliest known version of One Thousand and One Nights. 868 The Diamond Sutra, the oldest printed book ever, is found. 889 Mayans begin writing all their records on amate rather than stone. LATE 9TH CENTURY Baghdad becomes an important papermaking centre. 900 Egyptians begin making paper. 969 Earliest known use of playing cards in China. 1041—48 Date of earliest known moveable type in China made of earthenware set in an iron form. 900—1100 Mayans write the Dresden Codex. 1140 Papermaking begins in Muslim Spain in Xåtiva. 1143 The Qur'an is translated into Latin. 1264 First record of papermaking in Fabriano, Italy. 1282 First watermarks, in Fabriano, Italy. 1308 Dante begins writing The Divine Comedy. 1307 Paper first used in England. 1332 Paper first used in Holland. 1338 Papermaking starts in Troyes. 1353 Boccaccio writes The Decameron. 1387 Chaucer starts writing Canterbury Tales. 1389 German papermaking begins in Nuremberg. 1403 King Taejong of Korea orders bronze type. 1411 Papermaking begins in Switzerland. 1423 Earliest known European block prints. 1440—50 First European block books. 1456 Gutenberg completes printing his first Bible with moveable type. Mainz is destroyed and its printers disperse. 1463 Ulrich Zell starts the Cologne printing industry. 1464 The Subiaco Monastery near Rome becomes the first print house in Italy. 1469 Epistolae ad Familiares by Cicero is the first book printed in Venice. 1473 Lucas Brandis establishes first printing press in Lübeck. 1475 OR 1476 Le livre de merveilles du monde becomes the first book printed in the French language. 1477 William Caxton opens Britain's first printing press 1494 Aldus Manutius starts the Aldine Press in Venice. 1495 John Tate establishes the first paper mill in England in Hertfordshire. 1515 Albrecht Dürer starts etching. Hernån Cortés lands near Vera Cruz and begins the destruction of Aztec culture. Martin Luther's To the Christian Nobility ofthe German Nation is printed and 50,000 copies are distributed in two years. 1528 Fr. Juan de Zumårraga arrives in Mexico as protector of the Indians, and burns books. 1539 Spanish begin first printing press in Mexico to make books for the indigenous people. 1549 Mayan library burned by the Spanish. 1575 Spanish build the first paper mill in Mexico. 1576 Russians begin papermaking. 1586 A decree authorizing papermaking in Dordrecht is earliest record of Dutch papermaking. 1605 Publication of Cervantes's Don Quixote. 1609 The world's first newspaper, Avisa Relation Oder Zeitung, published in Strasbourg. 1627 The Catholic siege of La Rochelle in France drives Huguenot papermakers to England. 1635 Papermaking begins in Denmark. 1638 First English printing press is brought to America. 1672 With invention of the Hollander beater, Holland becomes a net exporter rather than importer of fine white paper. 1690 William Rittenhouse establishes first paper mill in America. 1690 America's first newspaper, Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, published in Boston. 1690 First paper money in the American colonies issued in Massachusetts. 1698 Thomas Savery designs the first steam engine to pump out mines. 1702 The Daily Courant in London, the first daily newspaper, begins publishing. 1719 René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur describes how wasps make paper from wood. 1728 Papermaking in Massachusetts begins. 1744 A Little Pretty Pocket Book, the first illustrated children's book, is published in England Papermaking in Virginia begins. 1767 Papermaking in Connecticut commences. 1768 Abel Buell is the first to cut and cast type in the American colonies. 1769 First manufacturer of printing presses in the British American colonies, Isaac Doolittle begins in New Haven. 1773 Papermaking in New York begins. 1774 The Swedish apothecary Carl Scheel discovers chlorine, which eventually leads to bleach. 1785 An independent London newspaper, The Daily Universal Register, begins publishing. Three years later it changes its name to The Times. 1790 Thomas Bewick becomes the most sought-after illustrator in Britain. Artist J. M. W. Turner begins his experiments with watercolors. 1796 Alois Senefelder invents the lithograph. 1798 Louis Nicolas Robert applies for a patent for his continuous paper machine. 1800 Lord Stanhope invents a cast iron printer. 1803 World's first mechanised paper machine installed at Frogmore Mill, Apsley, UK 1804 Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents the automatic loom, operated by punch cards. 1809 John Dickinson patents his cylinder mould papermaking machine. 1810 Friedrich Koenig invents a steam-powered printer. 1811 The Luddites start smashing automatic looms in England. 1814 The Times of London uses Koenig's steam-powered printer. 1818 Joshua Gilpin builds the first continuous-paper machine in America. 1820 More than 29 million newspapers are sold in Britain this year. 1825 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce makes the first photograph. 1830 New bleaching process makes white paper from coloured rags possible. 1833 An English patent is granted for making paper from wood. 1840 William Henry Fox Talbot makes first permanent photo on paper. 1841 Ebenezer Landells starts the London satirical magazine Punch. 1843 American Richard M. Hoe invents the steam-powered rotary printing press. 1863 American papermakers start using wood pulp. 1867 English wood pulp grinder exhibited in Paris. 1867 Wood pulp for paper first ground in the United States in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. 1867 Typewriter invented. 1872 United States surpasses Britain and Germany to become the largest paper producer in the world. 1874 Yukosha Company begins making machine-made paper in Tokyo, and six other companies follow in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe. 1890 US census tabulated by punch-card machines. 1899 Swedish explorer Sven Hedin, while excavating the ruins of the vanished city of Lu Lan, finds paper from 252 BCE, completely upsetting the history of paper. 1931 Vannevar Bush builds an analog electromechanical computer. 1945 John von Neumann publishes a paper on using binary numbers to program electronic memory. 1947 Transistor invented at Bell Labs. 1951 Remington Rand produces forty-six UNIVAC I computers with memory storage and output on magnetic tape. 1958 Microchip invented.