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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Tickets at De Young Museum, 2/25/2010 - SF Gate

Talk about good timing....

Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Tickets at De Young Museum, 2/25/2010 - SF Gate:
"This exhibit will feature more than 130 artifacts from the 18th Dynasty king's opulently appointed tomb and other ancient Egyptian sites."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tutankhamun and "Where the Great Akhenaten Lies" : Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Tutankhamun and "Where the Great Akhenaten Lies" : Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Zahi Hawass reports on the great discovery made regarding the identification of Akhenaten among the mummies of Egypt, inter alia writing:
"At a press conference for international media figures held by the Supreme Council of Antiquities last Wednesday at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, I announced that important [archeological] discoveries had been made that shed more light on the dynasty of the golden pharaoh Tutankhamen. These discoveries marked the beginning of a new chapter in using modern techniques and advanced technology in the field of archeological discoveries."
Read the rest here, where it appears quite clearly from the Hawass statements that Akhenaten has been convincingly identified.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Egyptian Chronicles

The Egyptian Chronicles is the name of an electronic monthly magazine with one of its features on Ancient Egyptian History.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pharaonic Egyptian Hieroglyphs 1 - The Vowels - Matres Lectionis

Reposted from the LexiLine Journal 288

The current view of the Egyptian hieroglyphs is that they contained no "vowels". Although this is true in terms of "modern" vowels as used to separate consonants, the Egyptian hieroglyphs do in fact have symbols for vowel-type sounds which did not function as "vowels" per se but which represented separate language elements as specific sounds.

New File Added to our Egypt Files

To our LexiLine files at Yahoo Groups at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LexiLine/files/Egypt/
I have added the file pharaonicvowels.png:


showing my decipherment of the ancient Old Kingdom Pharaonic Egyptian vowel-sound system.

Decipherment of the Vowel-Sound System of Ancient Egypt

This decipherment is the beginning of my correction of the mainstream transcriptions, transliterations and interpretations of the hieroglyphs. Mainstream work contains many, many errors.

In the early days of the Pharaonic Egyptian hieroglyphs, the ancients did not yet have our words or specific concepts for "vowel" or "consonant".

Indeed, even in modern times, a thing like "vowels" is a complicated subject. See e.g. Louis Goldstein of Yale University [currently at USC] and his writings on "vowel theory" at
http://artphon.usc.edu/LG/CV.php

Yet, in order to devise a written language, the ancients had to have some primitive "linguistic" understanding of sound and its connection to symbols in order to devise a workable writing system.

I have discovered how that Pharaonic "vowel" system worked.

Mater Lectionis (singular) - Early vowels in the Hebrew Alphabet

The Pharaonic "vowels" show that the Egyptian hieroglyphs were the DIRECT predecessor system to what is know as the matres lectionis (plural) of the Hebrew alphabet in which Aleph is mostly an A, He mostly an A, Waw mostly an O or a U and Jod mostly I, E or AE.

The Linguistics of Sound and Vowel Theory

Mater lectionis derives out of the limited number of ways in which vowels can be formed by human speech. See the Wikipedia Online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matres_lectionis

Early Vowel Theory

As Goldstein notes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matres_lectionis -

Indian grammarians as early as the 7th century already divided vowels into three distinct types:
(1) palatal (so-called "mouth vowels")
(2) labio-velar (so-called "lip vowels")
(3) pharyngeal (so-called "throat vowels")

Modern Vowel Theory

Modern linguistics has expanded this list to four types of vowels:
(1) palatal ("mouth vowels")
(2) velar ("lip vowels")
(3) uvular ("tongue vowels")
(4) pharyngeal ("in the throat")

The Egyptian Vowel-Type Hieroglyphs mark Vowel Sounds

What we have discovered in the most ancient Pharaonic Egyptian hieroglyphs is that their makers recognized four qualities of vowel-type sounds - and consciously selected homophonic (same-sounding) symbols to mark these sounds - sounds which are similar in function to modern linguistic vowel theory, but of course not as advanced in their nature 5000 years ago.

These four vowel-type sounds in ancient Egypt were:

1. The Breath Sound - the "LEAF, reed LEAF" Hieroglyph
2. The Throat Sound - the "EAGLE" (vulture) Hieroglyph
3. The Nasal Sound - the "CHICKEN" Hieroglyph
4. The Palatal Sound - the "BENT ARM" Hieroglyph

In order to represent these "vowel-types" with symbols, the makers of the hieroglyphs - on the basis of the evidence of the Indo-European language, e.g. on the basis of Latvian lexical comparisons, selected symbols which were pronounced similarly - i.e. were homophonic - to the vowel sound description.

The Four Pairs of Homophonic Hieroglyphs and Vowel Sound Functions

The following four pairs of words are homophonic in Latvian - and fit the Egyptian hieroglyphs perfectly. I find that these same homophonic pairs are found clearly in the Egyptian hieroglyphs:

1. ALPA (whence ALPHA) viz. ELPA "breath" and LAPA viz. VARPA "leaf, ear" whence also VARPATA "couch-grass, dog grass". (Note that the later alphabet used the steer symbol for Alpha, a steer in Latvian being LUOP, also a word homophonic to ALPA. In ancient Old Kingdom Egypt, the "leaf" or "reed leaf" symbol thus represented the "breath sound" in the ancient hieroglyphs.

2. IERIKLIS ("in the throat") and ERGLIS "eagle" (vulture in Egypt). The "eagle" viz. "vulture" symbol thus represented the "throat sound" in the ancient hieroglyphs.

3. UOSTA ("smell, smeller, of the nose") and VISTA "chicken". The "chicken" symbol thus represented a "nasal sound" in the ancient hieroglyphs.

4. ROKA ("bent, arm") and LOKA "bent, pliable, flexible", supple"). The "bent arm" thus represented a "palatal (bent) sound" in the ancient hieroglyphs. Even today LOCISHANA in Latvian is applied as a word in linguistics, applying to declension and conjugation.

Consequence of the Hieroglyphic "Vowel-Sound" Discovery

This above discovery now permits us to recognize that the hieroglyphs were not just chance symbols selected at random or because of religious or other considerations, but were selected primarily for their pronounced SOUND as being similarly sounding - homophonic - to an intended linguistic sound FUNCTION.

Accordingly, we will expect a similar intelligence and rational reasoning to be at work in the formulation of the the remainder of the hieroglyphs, also for the "consonants" (which - as wel will see - were seen combined with vowel sounds). Even though the ancients did not have the precise equivalent concept of "consonant" in ancient days, they recognized similar sounds.

An explanation of the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptian "alphabet" will soon be forthcoming.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bibliotheca Alexandrina - Egypt ReImagines The Pharaonic Library at Alexandria - CNN.com

Egyptian library merges modern technology with ancient relics - CNN.com
"London, England (CNN) -- As a man whose vision of paradise is 'some sort of library,' Ismail Serageldin must sometimes feel like he works amid the Garden of Eden.

The former World Bank vice-president is director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) -- Egypt's $220 million reimagining of the ancient world's most celebrated library, built on its historical site in the city of Alexandria."
Read the rest here.

Egyptian Pharaoh statue discovered in Sudan | Bikya Masr

Egyptian Pharaoh statue discovered in Sudan | Bikya Masr

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writing Origins : Pharaohs, Moderns and Dyslexics

Writing Origins : Pharaohs, Moderns and Dyslexics

Deep Sea Sailing Vesels of Ancient Egypt Discovered : Ancient Pharaonic Mariners

Boston University archeologist’s digs uncover clues to Egyptian mariners - The Boston Globe
"BU archeologist unearths clues about ancient Egypt’s sea trade

The archeological digs at Egypt’s Wadi Gawasis have yielded neither mummies nor grand monuments.

But Boston University archeologist Kathryn Bard and her colleagues are uncovering the oldest remnants of seagoing ships and other relics linked to exotic trade with a mysterious Red Sea realm called Punt.

Starting in the middle of the last decade, the Bard-Fattovich team grabbed the attention of nautical archeologists with the unearthing of ship timbers, limestone anchors, steering oars, and hanks of marine rope. The precisely beveled deck beams, hull planks, and copper fittings belong to the oldest deep sea vessels ever found, dating back at least 3,800 years.

The craft appear to have been up to 70 feet long, powered by rowers and sail and capable of navigating deep seas.

“This is exciting stuff, important,’’ said Shelley Wachsmann, a top authority on Bronze Age ships at Texas A&M University’s Institute of Nautical Archaeology. He is not directly involved with Bard’s research.“She’s found the first fragments of an ancient Egyptian seagoing vessel - a ship that actually sailed in pharaonic times,’’ Wachsmann said."

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