Wax tablet Item in The Calinan Sea | World Anvil

Wax tablet

"The wax has been scraped, my friend."
-A common Avadian proverb
    Wax tablets are the most prominent type of re-usable writing surface available to the peoples of Annyrion. It is most commonly used among the Avadian Sovereignty and the faculty of the Academy in northeastern Arikanda.


Wax tablets emerged out of a need for an easily erasable and portable writing surface. Prior to the invention of these tablets, the primary form of writing consisted of kiln-fired clay tablets etched with a stylus, occasionally supplemented with pieces of vellum parchment. While this was good enough for most societies, merchants in the Avadian Sovereignty saw a need for a less fragile, more easily portable and erasable form of writing, while retaining the relative cheapness of producing clay tablets.   The first wax tablet was believed to be created by a beekeeper living in the Beyan Archipelago around the 5th century DoM, who applied a layer of beeswax to tablets of wood. From there, the beekeeper sold the tablets to Avadian captains, who had limited sources of writing material aboard their vessels, and the idea took off from there. Avadian traders eventually travelled as far as the Academy in the Heartlands, where they became extremely popular with scholars who regularly needed to correct and amend documents without re-firing whole tablets.


The adaptation of wax tablets has been somewhat slow outside of the Avadian Sovereignty and the Academy. Among the Avadian sea companies and in academic circles they are almost ubiquitous, although they are usually used alongside clay tablets rather than superseding them outright. They are most commonly used for note-taking, calculations, writing drafts and temporary record keeping.   The tablets consist of a wooden base and frame, with the base covered in a layer of beeswax. A scribe uses a pointed stylus to etch characters into the wax. A flat edge on the other side of the stylus serves as an eraser by scraping the wax clean.
Item type
While the popularity of wax tablets is rising, they have yet to supersede clay tablets in most of the nations and city-states of the world.
Varies; 30cmx15cm is most common

Cover image: by World Anvil


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