5 thoughts on “Heiroglyphs

  1. Garrett Lindgren

    I find it interesting in the first article (A Note on Hieroglyphs) that the origin of Egyptian words for birds of prey is hard to understand. It is also striking to me that the symbol for vulture was synonymous with the meaning for mother considering that the Egyptians believed that all vultures were in fact female, who conceived with the wind.
    In the second reading (They Wrote on Wood) I find it interesting that the terminology to which defines which surface was written on has such open ended definitions. Guls refers to the medium through which writings were inscribed, but does not refer to particular inscription itself.

  2. SuYeon Kim

    Readings : This readings made me to think about the relationship or connection between Hieroglyphs, language (a tool/system to communicate) and human culture. By reading about Hieroglyphs and thinking about the document film we watched last week about cave painting, I started to think about how these visual languages(cave painting and hieroglyphs) would be the evidence how the society and culture was in the past. For example in the “A note on the Hieroglyphs” it shows that how the vultures, the bird was meaning in the Ancient Egypt. And from the reading about the wooden writing boards in Hittite Anatolia, it mentions that hieroglyphic was shown on wooden writing boards used for private and daily economic records, and a Hittite cuneiform tradition reserved for palace administration. From this, I felt that hieroglyphic language might be was the visual language general/widely used in the past, and the cuneiform would be the language that the upper class(the nobility, or the royalty).

  3. Addison de Lisle

    I am intrigued by the tools with which we can look at the past. For example, historians often look at Renaissance (and earlier) paintings to determine aspects of daily life at the time, such as clothing and style, household objects, weaponry. Though of course it must be taken with a grain of salt, often the background ‘props’ in paintings can be used to illuminate historical details that would otherwise be lost to us. Similarly, the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet can be used to reveal what birds were deemed important and/or common enough 2000 years ago to merit enshrining in something as important as a symbol in written language.

    Similarly, as a blacksmith whose work is innately tied to working with materials (usually metal of course), I am fascinated that the existence of wooden writing tablets was indicated by the verbs used to indicate writing! Since the alphabets were developed to be impressed into specific mediums (for example cuneiform into clay) It makes so much sense that since the actions are different, so too would be the writing verb!

  4. Kymberli Roberson

    I really liked the article, They Wrote on Wood. It’s pretty fascinating that the Hittites wrote important documents on wood. Can you imagine what great lengths they took to preserve the wood to make sure it didn’t rot or anything? It’s pretty amazing that some of the wood boards are in tact and in good condition.

    I do think cuneiform was widespread and used by everyone in society since it was used not only for public documentation but for private as well.

    They Mayan Glyphs article was really interesting, and it’s not surprising that there are letters/glyphs that can’t be translated into English (I think it’s fairly common among most languages). It does make it difficult for translators to decipher things, though.

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