"I’m also really interested to know where the original assumptions about the sounds and meanings originated if not with Champollion’s comparison of the Rosetta Stone texts. Why would a translator need to use another’s work unless it be to consult the basic rules, the original dictionary? I found this concerning Sethe by Samuel Mercer in 1952 “He as well as other trained Egyptologists realized that the earlier copy of the texts was often incorrect, and that a new and scientifically copied edition was a necessity. Accordingly, taking advantage of the work of Dr. Heintze and Ludwig Borchardt, who were in Egypt taking impressions and photographs of the Pyramid Texts for slips in preparation for the making of the great Berlin Wörterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache, Sethe made use of their material in preparing a new edition of the Pyramid Texts. And no Egyptologist was more thoroughly prepared for such an undertaking than Kurt Sethe. And so he began the critical and exacting task of constructing a text principally on the basis of the five versions Unis, Teti, Pepi I, Merenrē‘, and Pepi II, which was finished and published in 1908-1910 in two great quarto volumes of over a thousand pages of hieroglyphic text, which is now the standard text. To accompany the text, he followed them with a third volume of critical apparatus in 1922 and a fourth of epigraphy in the same year. Thus the great work of giving to the world the text of the oldest collection of mythical, religious, and literary material in existence was finished.” I presume that the earlier errors concerned the copying of the text and that, once the correct symbols were copied, the method of interpretation didn’t change…? It doesn’t make mention of the method used by Sethe to interpret the symbols and to come up with his translation. Did he rely solely on Champollion’s work or not? Was that part of the process so obvious that it didn’t need mentioning? For the Sumerian, the answer is easy. The dictionaries built up from later Akkadian using ancient lexical lists are quite reliable sources for phonetics and meanings. There was no great loss of information between the different periods. The results that I’ve found by using those sources confirm that the groundwork was well established in ancient times and again more recently, and that the basic information necessary for translating is solid even if the language was coded in a way that hasn’t been understood, source of wildly erroneous translations. Forcing the texts of the earliest Sumerian texts to entirely conform to our prescriptive principles of grammar was never going to work. They have as much in common with riddles.
Were the basic principles for reading the hieroglyphs redefined after Champollion? Have there been corrections made to his work? Who defined the rules of grammar that should be applied to Egyptian hieroglyphs and how were they proven to be correct? I find Duketown’s point about ‘progressive insight to improve translations’ frankly very interesting and my questions are sincere. Perhaps I'm missing an essential piece of information that everyone else is aware of. If that's the case, I'm happy to be put straight. Madeleine"
It seems the answer to your (or my) basic question is more difficult than one would say. I'm going to chase this. As for progressive insight? There's still a lot of insight needed... I need to find out who determined what and when so you see the development.
I switched from to Sumerian to Egyptian, and now this is my first question. Obviously, the start are the sounds and than comes that mapping of Chamipillion, which is strange at least. i.e. Mapping 10 sounds to one letter, by method, losses a lot of information. Not to mention the other peculiarities we see.
I'll come back on this later... For now, this is my start: Jean-François Champollion's "Opening Speech of the Archeology Course" and the French wiki page about Egyptian grammar.
But my most important start is to not trust anything related to Egypt. i.e: Champollion first wrote down a story about Egyptian religion, BEFORE he even could decipher the description of the mummy of Bakt-en-Hor. Surely, such attitude will lead to wrongness and screams falsification. Such stories, where reason isn't to be found, are plenty-full. So my first filter is to filter eagerness out of wrongness, which leaves suspicious reasons. tada, here we are discussing Champollion.
Best regards, Stephan
ps. Is your qoute from a book about language? Any good?
ps2: About Sumerian: I want to apply to glyphs what I learned about cuneiform. I made a complete new timeline and now I'm matching this against Egypt. This will sort out most confusion in Egypt because I already de-confussed Cuneiform.
ps3. Differently than most others here, I follow the track of ownership (musea, Uni's, and all kind of stakeholders) and it already renders amazing results. It gives great insight in who did what and once I have the why story, this will change perception with proof. In the end, you need a paper trail.
ps4. 2 other book I will chase:
Andrew Robinson - Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois Champollion
Richard Parkinson - Cracking Codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment, from the British Museum 1999 exhibition.
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Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 30-Nov-18 16:51 by Duketown.