19:7 paper reeds. Ancient Egypt was noted for its papyrus, produced from the reeds that grew abundantly along the Nile and its branches. These large rushes were used not only to produce paper, but also clothes, bedding, sails and other products. Yet not only did the waters of the Nile diminish in later centuries, and several of its branches dry up, but the abundant papyrus and lotus plants also eventually became all but extinct. The Egyptian government in modern times has tried to remedy some of this deterioration by controlling the flow of the Nile with its Aswan Dam, but this project has been fraught with problems and has proved largely unsuccessful.