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Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
M.A.Pouls- Wegner

October 11, 2011 Development of Writing - History of decipherment  Rosetta Stone (hieroglyphs, Demotic, Greek)  Allowed translation  Inscribed in the Ptolemaic Era  Champollion deciphered Hieroglyphic text using royal names written in cartouches  Ebers Papyrus (Hieratic, cursive)  Sir Alan Gardiner (Semitic grammatical structure): wrote a book on Middle Egyptian grammar  Polotsky (ties to Coptic and African languages- Berber, Kushitic): Afro- Asiatic language- shares a common ancestor with Akkadian (degree of difference approximates that between Portuguese and Romanian) - Egyptian hieroglyphics:  Strong pictographic aspect  Phonetic language  No written vowels - Egyptian developmental sequence (hieroglyphs): 1. Proto-hieroglyphs (first examples on the labels found in tomb U-j at Abydos) 2. Emblematic hieroglyphs 3. Archaic 4. Old Egyptian 5. Middle Egyptian 6. Late Egyptian 7. Demotic: hieratic script with heavy Greek influence 8. Coptic: Greek, inclusion of vowels, but still a form of Ancient Egyptian - Hieratic: cursive form of written Egyptian language - Used for economic and administrative purposes and in royal art - Continued to write in older Egyptian despite speaking the new form - Scribal traditions - education in Egypt - Structure of Egyptian language:  Direction of writing  Ideographic elements  Phonetic basis: alphabet  Determinative - The royal titulary: 1. Horus name: from beginning of Early Dynastic period and Dynasty 0, written in serekh 2. Two Ladies/Nebty name (from First Dynasty onwards) 3. Horus of Gold name (Old Kingdom) 4. Neswt-Bity name (“King of Upper and Lower Egypt”): first held by late Dynasty 1 king Den, usually written in a cartouche by Dynasty 4 (Sneferu) page 1 5. Son of Re name (Nomen) - (from Fifth Dynasty onwards, written in a cartouche) Overview of the Old Kingdom (Dynast 3-6) - Capital: Memphis - Administration:  Titles of officials  Rewards for loyal service (sometime recorded)  Private commerce (not well-documented, primarily archaeological evidence)  Individuals worked on land for the return of a share of the crop  Provincial officials  Connection with local temple institutions  Highest officials: kin-based(shifted to) merit-based by late OK  Vizier: full responsibility for administrative, economic and judicial affairs - Economy:  Highly centralized  Redistributive (Ex. Exemption Decree): roles of temples (both gods’ temples and royal mortuary temples) in economy Pyramids: - Dynasty 4 construction techniques - Dynasty 5 construction techniques - Square base, alignment with cardinal directions - Slope: 49º - 57º - Pyramidion - Burial chamber - Portcullis stones Royal Mortuary Complex: - Pyramid - Mortuary temple/pyramid temple - Subsidiary/satellite pyramids - Enclosure wall - Causeway - Valley temple - Pious foundation (estate) The Step Pyramid - Changes in royal ideology - The shape is the shape of the king’s palace in life page 2 Djoser Khufu • Subterranuean burial chamber • Burial chamber in roughly the center • Retained the steps of the pyramid • Smoothed surface • Portcullis stones Dynasty 4 Monuments: - Extensive fields of mastaba tombs built according to
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