Mysteries :  The Official GrahamHancock.com forums
For serious discussion of the controversies, approaches and enigmas surrounding the origins and development of the human species and of human civilization. (NB: for more ‘out there’ posts we point you in the direction of the ‘Paranormal & Supernatural’ Message Board). 
Welcome! Log InRegister
Hi Martin,

Thanks for the chronological clarification. Yes, you're absolutely on target that there are examples of x and ra distinguishable through context only in Old Kingdom hieratic. Without taking additional time out to rummage around in sources, I can't comment very usefully on distinctions of given characters in individual hands (or between similar characters in the same hand) of the Old Kingdom, but some of this can be detected by carefully examining palaeography tables. For the Ramesside period the matter of individual hands has been discussed by Jac. J. Janssen in the early 1990s in Journal of Egyptian Archaeology; the reference is in my article on hieratic referred to in my earlier post. There are periods (Late Middle Kingdom hieratic comes to mind) in which context is often needed to disambiguate some signs, and periods (Ramesside business hieratic comes to mind) in which many signs seem to be reduced to vertical lines and little oblique ticks. (Some scholars like Sarah Groll have taken to transcribing them "realistically" so that the hieroglyphic transcription is just as opaque and uninformative as the hieratic text.)

A couple of points regarding other posts. The Khufu graffiti aren't in a "subterranean" chamber but in the middle of the pyramid and were put on the block before it was put into position. (Compare Graham Hancock's post about the writing going into cracks.) They name a work gang. Why did the Egyptians do this? I really don't know why modern workers do a lot of the things they do, including scribbles that occasionally go on big cartons, crates etc. The evidence at a number of sites indicates that the Egyptians did what they did. A foreman or scribe with the necessary level of literacy would be available. (NB: Harry Smith published in JEA the rock inscriptions from the Middle Kingdom fort at Buhen, including the signatures of many soldiers. We don't know that they could write more than their name. Those inscriptions are one indication that literacy increased in the Middle Kingdom compared with the Old Kingdom.)

Another point. A "reality check" is needed for all of these lurid statements about capital punishment for writing on a sacred monument etc. etc. Give me a break. The Egyptians wrote lots of graffiti on their sacred monuments, while the monuments were still in use. Some are admiring or seem to be the work of people we would consider pilgrims, some are just a name or name and a title (like a "scribe Seti" whose graffito I photographed at Deir el-Bahri). In Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs, Barbara Mertz has interesting comments about the representation and name of Senmut in the Deir el-Bahri temple. Bottom line: The Egyptians had a wonderful sense of the sacred but they weren't sanctimonous or "holier-than-thou." Graffiti giving hostile or disparaging cartoons of a monarch? What may well be depictions of Hatshepsut and Senmut have been found at Deir el-Bahri. There are also distinctly disparaging images of Akhenaten. (See my article on Humor and Wit, Ancient Egypt, in the Anchor Bible Dictionary, where references are given.)

Regards,

Edmund S. Meltzer

Options: ReplyQuote


Subject Views Written By Posted
Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 223 Graham Langdon 14-Oct-04 21:47
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 183 Michael Hayes 15-Oct-04 15:42
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 174 Graham Langdon 15-Oct-04 18:10
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 182 SiddhaAwakens 15-Oct-04 22:10
is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 173 JimLewandowski 15-Oct-04 23:52
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 151 Graham Langdon 16-Oct-04 01:10
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 153 Jon B 16-Oct-04 10:20
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 167 Cesar 16-Oct-04 10:37
Thanks for that, my mistake 147 Jon B 16-Oct-04 11:08
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 155 Lee McGiffen 16-Oct-04 11:14
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 157 Cesar 16-Oct-04 14:45
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 154 Lee McGiffen 16-Oct-04 11:11
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 161 Citizen Attorney 16-Oct-04 17:06
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 156 fisherman 18-Oct-04 19:44
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 166 Michael Hayes 18-Oct-04 19:49
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 155 Elizabeth Newton 19-Oct-04 04:54
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 167 edmundmeltzer 19-Oct-04 00:08
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 144 Elizabeth Newton 19-Oct-04 04:59
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 157 fisherman 19-Oct-04 17:51
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 162 edmundmeltzer 19-Oct-04 22:47
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 145 Graham Langdon 20-Oct-04 22:27
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 152 Martin Stower 21-Oct-04 17:45
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 172 edmundmeltzer 22-Oct-04 03:29
Re: is it accurate to say you, Graham, have changed 114 Martin Stower 22-Oct-04 13:52
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 146 Michael Hayes 16-Oct-04 20:37
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 222 edmundmeltzer 16-Oct-04 05:56
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 186 Jon B 16-Oct-04 10:01
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 143 edmundmeltzer 16-Oct-04 11:24
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 157 Michael Hayes 16-Oct-04 18:49
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 145 edmundmeltzer 16-Oct-04 19:27
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 143 Michael Hayes 16-Oct-04 19:55
another possibility: naming rights 154 Citizen Attorney 16-Oct-04 22:04
Re: another possibility: naming rights 141 Tau 17-Oct-04 21:02
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 183 edmundmeltzer 16-Oct-04 22:09
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 178 Michael Hayes 17-Oct-04 00:32
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 147 Nebankh 17-Oct-04 01:01
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 158 edmundmeltzer 17-Oct-04 01:45
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 156 Nebankh 17-Oct-04 01:58
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 135 Nebankh 17-Oct-04 02:03
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 160 Brian Patterson 17-Oct-04 19:19
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 137 Martin Stower 18-Oct-04 17:51
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 155 Tau 17-Oct-04 21:26
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 152 Michael Hayes 17-Oct-04 23:10
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 164 music 22-Oct-04 03:56
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 166 Michael Hayes 22-Oct-04 11:51
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 159 Mr. Hunter 16-Oct-04 23:01
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 167 Michael Hayes 17-Oct-04 20:40
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 142 Martin Stower 18-Oct-04 17:58
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 137 Michael Hayes 18-Oct-04 19:45
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 152 Nebankh 17-Oct-04 01:18
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 151 Michael Hayes 17-Oct-04 02:24
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 148 Fredspage 17-Oct-04 22:03
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 147 Michael Hayes 17-Oct-04 23:21
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 200 Bewildered 18-Oct-04 03:43
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 171 Fredspage 18-Oct-04 12:30
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 164 Cesar 18-Oct-04 13:41
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 144 Michael Hayes 18-Oct-04 19:59
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 159 Cesar 18-Oct-04 20:12
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 147 Michael Hayes 18-Oct-04 20:45
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 141 Cesar 18-Oct-04 21:32
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 143 Michael Hayes 18-Oct-04 22:13
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 173 Raja 18-Oct-04 21:52
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 159 Bewildered 19-Oct-04 00:31
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 153 Elizabeth Newton 19-Oct-04 05:07
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 270 edmundmeltzer 19-Oct-04 05:37
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 164 edmundmeltzer 19-Oct-04 05:47
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 141 Elizabeth Newton 19-Oct-04 11:37
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 163 Martin Stower 20-Oct-04 12:26
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 174 edmundmeltzer 21-Oct-04 01:12
Re: Michael Hayes: Thought on Egypt's Anomalies 160 music 22-Oct-04 16:06


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.