Category Archives: Egyptian

Review of The Sungod’s Journey through the Netherworld Reading the Ancient Egyptian Amduat by Andreas Schweizer

Image of the Amduat Wikipedia

This book was not what I expected, but I’m glad I read it. I was looking for the text of the Amduat. Even though this book did not include the text, the author walked the reader through a 12 hour night journey of the Sungod Re using images drawn from the tomb of Thutmose III. As a practicing Jungian psychologist, Schweizer offers interesting and insightful commentary on what these images may have meant to the Egyptians and could mean for modern readers. As a religious reader, I like Jung’s ideas because he does not discount religious ideas or experiences as being a core part of humanity. This is a deep, philosophical book well worth your time if you like Ancient Egyptian texts and Jungian analysis.

Attempt a English in Egyptian Letters

Here is my attempt at the names Collier and Manley and the numbers 2017 in hieroglyphs. I’m adding it to the Stela of Ameny for completing C &M 2017. The letters are Q, L, I, R (and) M, A, N, L, I. 2,000 + 10 + 7.

Collier and Manley 2017
Collier (and) Manley 2017 rendered in most of the Egyptian alphabet.



Osteobiography: Solve the Mystery 1

I’m really enjoying Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones by Universiteit Leiden. It is an intense class but I’m learning a lot about a subject that is new to me and fascinating.

1) Estimate the individual’s age-at-death.
From the ectrocranial suture obliteration scores on the vault sites, I had a composite score of 18. Using the tables of Meindl and Lovejoy (1985) this composite score indicated a mean age of 48.8 (SD=10.5). For the laternal-anterior sites, I had a composite score of 11 which according to the table gives the mean age of 56.2 (SD= 8.5). These two mean scores suggest a skeleton of a middle or old adult. Using the information provided on the pubic symphesis the skeleton suggests a Phase V morphology (mean age 45.6 SD =10.4). I decided this because in the table provided “Breakdown may occur on superior ventral border.” The photo and the description said “The rim is completely formed and shows the beginning of breakdown on the superior- ventral edge.” Since Dr. Waters-Rist says that this is the most common method of dating, I gave this estimate the most weight making this skeleton a middle adult age.

Auricular Surface: From the data provided on the auricular surface this skeleton yielded a composite score of 17. This score based of Buckberry and Chamberlain (2002) estimates suggest an age of 72.25 (SD 12.72). This age range would suggest an old adult. Given that two of my data sources suggest a middle adult and that pubic symphesis information carries the most weight, I estimate this skeleton belongs to a middle adult.

2) Estimate the individual’s sex.

Using the information provided for the cranium and given that three out of the five characteristics I have studied seem to be more masculine, I’ve concluded that this skull belonged to a probable male (PM) individual. Even though I’ve rated the mental eminence as a two (female) based on the superior view, looking at the scores for the mandible it seems two of the three areas we have studied are male or probable male. According to Dr. Waters-Rist the area with the “highest amount of consistent differences” is the pelvis. For the nine areas of the pelvis that we have a score for, six areas indicate the skeleton is male. Comparing the pelvis to the scale for the greater sciatic notch, I rated it as a 5 since the notch looked like more of an acute angle. Given this data I’ve concluded that this skeleton is male.

3) Estimate the individual’s stature (height) using the long bone length and regression equation provided.

Stature estimation based on femur length. Using the regression equation provided in the materials I calculated the following results for the height of a white male: 2.38 x 45.4+ 61.41 = 168.554 cm (+/-3.27)

Favorite stone

This is one of my favorite stones in the Logan Cemetery. A few years back I asked Michael Rhodes for a translation. He suggested “Thanks for your songs.” (literally “Praise God for your songs.”)”praise God” was the normal way in Egyptian for saying “thank you.” Or “Thanks for your favors/praise”. Awesome he responded. As far I can make out top line: dwA nTr (praise God) middle line: n (for) bottom line: (your praises).

Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones

The amount of time needed to complete an assignment is something I think about a lot as a curriculum designer. I’m really loving this first module of the course. There are five total modules. This first module is taking me several hours to complete. Unlike a traditional class I do this work when I can and it means taking time to review the videos and then look at the mystery cases. I spent an hour tonight just working on estimating age using ectocrainial suture closure and pubic symphysis face analysis. Unlike other recent classes I’ve taken on Coursera this one is pretty rigorous. I’m impressed but I think it may be helpful to give learners an estimate of time they should expect to spend. Not having a lot of pre-req knowledge I wonder if this is impacting my time.

GlyphStudy Courses

At the sad passing of one of the long-time moderators to GlyphStudy I wanted to pause and reflect a bit more about this unique group. Started around 2005, GlyphStudy is a community of practice. No one claims to be an expert but a student of the Egyptian language. The group offers "courses" using several textbooks based on the students selection. The path I am planning to follow includes two text books:

How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Ed…

Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hie…

Each week participants complete the activities in the book and ask questions of their peers and the course moderator. There are no "tests" other than the assessment of seeing your work next to your peers and determining where things are different or off from where they need to be. If everyone is wrong the moderator offers their opinion. There are no grades except for my personal goal of completing the text book. If I were to provide an objective for the courses it would be: to complete all of the exercises in a text book with the study group.

Is this learning? I think it absolutely is. I think the key components are access to resources, other learners, a more advanced learner, and chances to practice the applicable skill.

The difference between this and a traditional college course is that there would be some certification of completion or advancement and a designated expert who would offer correction and feedback. But this group already seems to have the "expertise" of other peers. I think the real difference perhaps is getting others to recognize that these students know the language. But if students from GlyphStudy wanted universities to recognize their skills we could take a test based on the textbook and see how we did. Lots to think about but an interesting community of practice nonetheless.