Guide to the Writing Systems of Ancient Egypt

Guide to the Writing Systems of Ancient Egypt

Stephane Polis


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SKU: 9782724708738 Categories: , , ,

What do we know about the writings of ancient Egypt, two hundred years after Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered hieroglyphs? This Guide answers the question in an easily accessible format, presenting the current state of knowledge on the different scripts that were used in the Land of Pharaohs. The reader will find over fifty articles written by specialists, presenting the diversity of scripts in time and space, explaining their main organizational principles, and describing the main contexts in which they were used. The Guide begins by offering an overview of the scripts of Egypt, from the appearance of hieroglyphs up to the introduction of Arabic writing. It then explores the multiple aspects of hieroglyphic writing: the number of glyphs and their classification; the relationship between written glyphs and figurative representations; the organization in space and the materiality of hieroglyphs; the relationship of hieroglyphic writing to spoken language; as well as the play on symbols and other so-called enigmatic uses. Finally, the Guide focuses on the main uses of writing in ancient Egypt. Learning how to write, the use of movable and monumental material, inscriptions on objects and graffiti, the destruction of writing and systems of symbols are all practices that are considered. The use of writing for specific purposes-such as administrative, funerary or magical-or in specific socio-historical contexts is also adressed