How many hieroglyphs are in the Egyptian letter?
Egyptian hieroglyphic writing is one of thethree known today systems of Egyptian writing, which was used in the territory of ancient Egypt for more than three thousand years. It is believed that one hundred Egyptian writing system has more than five thousand years. Scientists for thousands of years have been trying to find out how many hieroglyphs in the Egyptian letter were at a certain stage of Egypt's development.
The development of hieroglyphic writing
Initially, the letter presupposed the creation of drawings,which clearly demonstrated what the author wanted to express. Gradually the Egyptians made a transition to a semantic letter. It became possible to create whole sentences. There were ideograms that allowed expressing the semantic load for abstract concepts. For example, the day denoted the sign of the sun. And the image next to the mountain meant that the sun shines only in the afternoon (towards evening the sun hides behind the mountain). Subsequently, symbols were created that could carry a phonetic (sound) load.
A set of hieroglyphs was formed gradually andat a slight pace. Thus, the priests in the time of the Ancient, Middle and New (1500 BC) kingdoms had at their disposal 800 hieroglyphs in the Egyptian letter. Their number reached 6000 signs only in the Greco-Roman period (300 BC). This is due to the limited scope of the use of hieroglyphs.
Application and Writing
Wrote them on a horizontal line, basically,from left to right, although there are records from right to left. To understand where the letter was started was assisted by hieroglyphs depicting a person or an animal, since they were always turned towards the beginning of the line. And it is very rare for writing to use columns that have always read from top to bottom. One sign could have superiority over another in case it was located on top (that is, it should be read first). But there were no punctuation marks in the Egyptian hieroglyphic letter.
Basically, they were used to createsacred texts and monumental inscriptions. To work with other documents or for correspondence, a hieratic letter was used. It was much easier, but could not push the hieroglyphs in the Egyptian letter. It is known that it was used even in the beginning of our era, but people who owned this complex system of signs and could read and write at that time practically did not remain.
Hieroglyphs are usually divided into classes, but aboutThe completion of this process is not yet possible today. For the first time, the catalog of the ancient Egyptian letters in the early twentieth century, the famous Egyptologist, the Englishman Wallis Bud. His compatriot and well-known Egyptologist Alan Gardiner did the same, after only a few years. The classification was carried out solely by external signs. Over time, the catalog was used Garniera, which indicated its popularity among Egyptologists. In the eighties of the twentieth century, a catalog of the Ptolemaic epoch signs was published in four volumes, which was simultaneously created by four authors. In the present century, the grammar of D.Kurt was published, which corrected the four volumes and the work of Garnier. The main advantage of this work is a new division into groups. How much it corresponds to the requests and whether the time will be able to take root.
According to the exposition of D. Kurt (2008) 805 hieroglyphs in the Egyptian letter are divided into 26 groups. The most numerous among them should be considered:
- "Woman and occupation" - 77 hieroglyphs, group "B";
- "Parts of the human body" - 63 characters, group "D";
- "The man and his studies" - 58 characters, group "A";
- "Birds" - 54 hieroglyphs, group "G";
- "Parts of the body of mammals" - 52 characters, group "F".
In addition, among the Egyptian symbols are distinguishedtwo main groups of hieroglyphs: sound (phonograms) and semantic (ideograms) signs. Sound marks (phonograms) are used to designate sounds and can be of three types:
- single-sign signs;
- two-sided signs;
- three-sided signs.
Ideograms are used to refer to the wholewords or concepts and are divided into two types: logograms and determinatives. Logograms are symbols that directly represent what it stands for. A determinative is located at the end of the sentence and, as a rule, does not indicate any words or letters. They served to determine the meaning of what was written. The difficulty in deciphering these signs was that they could have not only a concrete, but an abstract, abstract concept.