Pieces of clay with writing on them are called ostraca. The word comes from the Greek ostrakon, meaning "shell, sherd." Most ostraca were written with ink, but some were incised with a sharp instrument. School lessons, short letters, receipts, and other administrative documents were written on these clay sherds. The greatest numbers are pieces of clay or scraps of pots inscribed with colors or ink. The oldest Christian ostraca, like the papyri, are Greek and date from the
People always bemoan the slow death of the newspaper industry, but to be fair many newspapers have had a significantly long run. Here are several papers from around the world that have weathered many centuries, and are still publishing today!