You are absolutely correct in that the "mes" (birth) of the symbols is crucial and again I refer you to the great discussions between Kaplony, Sethe, Brugsh, and Helck on that subject, if you can read it using a translator program. On the First Dynasty ivory oil tags there are several examples of the "annunciation" of new symbols as if it was a national event worthy of making the "rnpt" defining entry. This birth by annunciation of course is the essence of the Ptah-cosmogony from Memphis later absorbed by Atum in the Heliopolitean cosmogony of the Pyramid Texts.
Helck was struck by the dichotomy of Buto logograms versus Nekhenite phonograms and this explains why the phonetic value of the several retained Buto symbols have nothing to do with the ideographic content. The name N'r-mr is a good example. There you have the biliteral "mr", a chisel following the logogram for catfish pronounced "N'r" (forgive the clumsy transliteration from my keyboard), the typical two-symbol Buto-style spelling of names.
Yet, the mention of the king's name likely did not invoke the images of Catfish-Chisel in the minds of his people for obvious reasons. So what may have really happened here?
One plausible, by no means only, way to explain this is when the Buto folks in Lower Egypt referred to the king, the sound of the name could best be recapitulated in the tongue of Upper Egypt by the word(s) for those two images. What I think happened is that in the spirit of unification, one of each region's symbols was chosen to make up the name. Consequently, the Nekhenite logogram (catfish) whose sound most closely resembled the sound of the Buto first word in the name pronounced "Nar", and whose meaning in Buto is lost to us, was combined with the Buto logogram "chisel" pronounced "mr" in their tongue and "3b" in the Nekhenite tongue. So Nar-mer is what the name sounded like, not what it meant!
I hope you can see where this is going. "3B" is a word root which relates to water and that explains why "mr" also came to mean river and canal....as in the winding water way (hint hint). Where did Rolf Krauss tell us that was?
Later, Egyptian, words for chisel include "th3" and also "kh3"....and with this lead I'm sending you a bit of wind into your sails depending on what you make with it. The act of chiselling words into stone was creating in the Memphite theology. "kh3" we already covered means to shiningly appear as in birth (what was the name of Sneferu's Red Pyramid? see Belmonte et al), let's say on the the horizon, and "th3" relates to the shaman Sem priest seen in front of Narmner (there named "thet") who later was officiated as the "Th3tj", the vizier. And what was the function of the Sem priest in prehistoric Egypt?
He put on a leopard robe and fell into a trance. This act later also became officiated and a special room for it was reserved: The Pr-Dw3t, the Robing Room/House; it's the room with the star symbol just recently posted by Martin Stower.
;), take care and keep up the good work.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26-Feb-18 22:41 by Manu.