Egyptian Faience Hippo, Middle Kingdom, 11th-12th Dynasty, C. 2000 BC

Hippo figures served as grave goods in the Middle Kingdom, as the hippopotamus was a symbol for regeneration in the afterlife. The drawings on the figure are meant to mimic the natural habitat of the animal. Here the hippo is surrounded by lotus buds and flowers with a flying bird overhead, just as it would be in a papyrus thicket. This piece is probably from Thebes.

Egyptian Hieroglyphs | Learn how to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Egyptian Hieroglyphs offers a series of free to use lessons that will allow you to read the hieroglyphic writing system of ancient Egypt. Join us today!

Every wanted to learn to read Hieroglyphs? It’s no walk in the park, but this brilliant site will get you well on your way to learning this weird and wonderful writing system. Made by an Egyptology graduate, it consists mainly of a series of 12 lessons, a list of resources for learning Middle Egyptian and a blog. The site itself looks great and is well-designed for easy use.

I’m learning enough languages as it is, but I’m really struggling to stop myself from learning Hieroglyphs and Middle Egyptian :3


Large Egyptian Boat Model and Crew, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty XI-XII, C. 2134-1782 BC

Made of wooden polychrome stucco, this large and exceptional boat model, accompanied by its crew, is a perfect illustration of grave goods dating from the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom. These models appear as early as the sixth dynasty (c. 2350 BC) and have the same meaning as the scenes carved on the walls of the tombs of the Old Kingdom with the aim to provide for the deceased in his or her afterlife. At nearly 60 inches long, this particular model is one of the largest known boats in existence.

Multilingual puns... >_>

Am I the only person in the world who can’t stop thinking of puns and funny turns of phrase (probably only funny to me) in other languages?

Like, there should be some way to make a pun with the two different meanings of qualis. I mean, it can mean basically “wtf is this thing” or “wicker basket” of all things. O.o THERE HAS TO BE A PUN IN THERE SOMEWHERE. 

And just when I was on the El today I kept thinking of weird ways to remember my Egyptian vocabulary based on my Latin work. Like gmi (to find). The way I remember it is “Ascanius was gmi on Dido’s gemitus when she was going through a delusional period.” (Ascanius was found on Dido’s lap when she was going through a delusional period) Gemitus sounds similar to gmi in my head…

Or, you can dpt a dpt. (Experience a boat, although that’s horrid grammar) 
And iqr is “excellent” because ichor flowed in the veins of the Grecian gods. 
And and and rdi is “to give” like redono is “to give back”, except without the re prefix. 

Or, “sweet loot” in a pidgin of Latin and Middle Egyptian would be “bnr praemiae”, sorta. a;sldkjf GRAMMAR

My Egyptian grammar is still absolute crap. But yeah. My Latin grammar is only slightly less crap.

Good god, soon I’m going to sprout fangirl ears and tail and go around shouting “HET HET ACADEMICS HET”.




Egyptian vocabulary list

And now, just for fun, here are a few of my favorite middle Egyptian words and phrases of interest. None of these were constructed by me, so you can feel safe about them being legitimate. :) All are written in phonetic language, because my keyboard doesn’t have an aleph option.

Heka – Holy magic. Typically wielded by the pharaoh.

Hekka khasut – “Rulers of foreign lands.” From which we derive the term “Hyksos.”

Hem-netjer – “God’s servant.” Term for a priest, typically the priests of Amun.

Hu – The word of the gods. Usually translated as “divine utterance.”

Imy-khent – Chamberlain.

Isfet – Chaos. 

Kap – Royal nursery. 

Kenbet – Court of law.

Maat – Order, control, justice. Sometimes written ma'at. The pharaoh was considered an avatar of maat on Earth, and it was his job to preserve the kingdom against the forces of isfet.

Netjer – God

Netjer aa –Great god. A legit god, like Osiris or Isis.

Netjer nefer – Good god. Also can be interpreted as ‘lesser god.’ Normally used to refer to the pharaoh.

Sebayet – “Teachings.” Also called wisdom texts. Basically the encyclopedias of the day.

Sem – Having to do with funerals. A funerary priest was a sem priest. A funerary priest was not, however, “sem hem-netjer.”

Sia – Divine knowledge.

Sobekneferu – “The beauty of Sobek.” Used as a name, not a phrase, though you could probably get away with it at a pinch. Sobek was the crocodile god–alluded to in another famous creation, Ammet, who was both a lady and had the head of a crocodile.

Tawy – “The two lands,” IE Upper and Lower Egypt. Typically appears in descriptive constructions, as in itj-tawy (“seizes possession of the two lands,” the rather boastful name of the city of Amenemhat I) and ankh-tawy (“life of the two lands,” self-explanatory). 

theenglishwizard asked:

Can you help me get started with some decent resources to learn hieroglyphics? Please :)

Hi there!

I certainly can!

With learning hieroglyphs it’s best to start with the classical version of the language, that is learning Middle Egyptian. It’s version of the language we have more of - the most well known stories such as The Story of Sinuhe, The Shipwrecked Sailor, has preserved in the Middle Egyptian language - it was used for the longest period of time spanning from the Middle Kingdom to the time of Ramses II. Also learning Middle Egyptian (according to a old professor of mine) makes learning Old, Late, and Ptolemaic Egyptian easier. 

I mentioned this to you, because you’ll find it a lot easier to find decent resources to learn -properly learn- hieroglyphs, and I mean the Middle Egyptian grammar.

These two resources are what I currently own:

James Hoch’s Middle Egyptian Grammar and Boyo Ockinga’s Concise Middle Egyptian Grammar. 

I find Hoch’s book to be a great source to begin with, for those who are learning independently and without a teacher or someone else to work with. He has chapters for you to read and learn the grammar, words to learn and exercises to put what you learn into practise. 

With Ockinga, I am biased when it comes to this because Ockinga IS my Middle Egyptian professor - he is teaching me and my class Hieroglyphs at uni. He teaches us the Middle Egyptian grammar straight out from this book - and explains things into further detail. So while this book is rather difficult for someone who has no idea what they’re in for, learning independently - it’s great to practise transliterating and translating large pieces of text.

If you live in Australia, Ockinga’s book is available to buy from the Australian Centre of Egyptology at Macquarie University for about $70. Or I have my old edition of the book, if you really want it (it’s practically falling apart). 

Putting what you have learned into practise by transliterating and translating is a extremely helpful way to reinforce what you are learning. Because even if you stop for a few weeks, with hieroglyphs, it’s very easy to forget what you learn. I didn’t do any over my summer (Nov-Feb) and was very rusty when I started back at uni. But a few weeks of practice with my Middle Kingdom and Hiero C units - I’m improving already. :)

Another resource, which I highly recommend is Gardiner’s grammar book. It’s not easy or cheap to buy, but if you get it, it’s like having the holy grail! All good scholars who study hieroglyphs refer to his work - he’s like the grandfather of modern hieroglyphs. He’s grammar book is very similar to the Hoch’s format, and he has a great English to Middle Egyptian dictionary at the back. 

ALSO! If you can get a hold of James P. Allen’s Middle Egyptian grammar book, that is also a great resource to start learning the grammar too.

Really, with any of these you can’t go wrong. :)

Oh and finally, a dictionary also goes a long way. Gardiner does have one … somewhere, but there is one which is highly recommended and not always easy to chase down. And that’s Faulkner’s dictionary, it’s an amazing dictionary which was originally written by hand and it’s still published in his original hand. 

Hopefully that helps you out, and feel free to ask me anymore questions on hiero! 

Good Luck!!!!