NMC101H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Classical Language, Social Stratification, Hieratic
Egyptian hieroglyphs appear almost simultaneously with two- dimensional art (around 3100 bce) Recognizable on various levels: illiterate egyptians visual, literate elite read. Architecture, furniture, and minor arts and crafts: --> e. g. amulets ( ankh) History of decipherment only elite able to read and write. Language after various foreign dynasties forgotten hieroglyphs last used (crudely) in temple of isis at philae in 394 ce. Egyptian: medu netjer = divine words : greek hieroglyphica = sacred carvings . Several thousand signs known: only c. 800 commonly used. Greeks thought were symbols of egyptian knowledge: supposedly in horapollo"s (egyptian) work hieroglyphica , translated into greek. The rosetta stone discovery in 1799 by napoleon"s troops. Important because three languages and scripts: hieroglyphic, demotic, greek. Copy of commemorative decree by priests of memphis listing royal privileges. Date: year 9 of ptolemy v (= 196 bce) Handed to britain in 1802 bm.