Hieroglyph Basics: Label for a New Kingdom King

Hieroglyph Basics: Label for a New Kingdom King
Even if you don't study Egyptology formally, there are now plenty of great books and resources to teach you how to interpret hieroglyphs.
The often formulaic nature of ancient Egyptian inscriptions makes learning hieroglyphs a little easier.
In this example on a gold bracelet from the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, we see a typical inscription pattern:
"The Good God [King's Name] Given Life."
We can break the inscription down to its individual signs. In this inscription, you will see that none of the signs is a single "letter". Usually hieroglyphs are written from right to left, as is the case in this example.
Because I use a left->right reading path, I flip the signs and use a special font to transliterate the signs:
nṯr nfr mn-ḫpr-rꜥ  dı͗ ꜥ nḫ
We can then translate the label as: The Good God Menkheperre, Given Life.
Menkheperre is one of the five names of New Kingdom King Thutmose III, and can be translated as 'Enduring is the Manifestation of Ra'.
See if you can spot this title pattern of Good God [King's name] Given Life next time you look at pictures containing cartouches!

Suggested books
Collier, M, (1998) How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs. THAMES HUDSON.
Davies, W, (1993) EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS. ["Reading the Past"].
Berkeley/Los Angeles: Univ. of Calif. Pr./Brit. Mu.
Kamrin, J, (2004) Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Practical Guide - A Step-by-Step Approach to Learning Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs. First Edition. Harry N. Abrams.
McDermott, B, (2002) Decoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs: How to Read the Sacred Language of the Pharaohs. Duncan Baird Publishers.
McDonald, A, (2007) Write Your Own Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Names, Greetings, Insults, Sayings. 1. University of California Press.
Manley, B, (2012) Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Complete Beginners. 1st. Thames & Hudson.
#egyptology #hieroglyphs


Post a Comment

To maintain the quality of discussion, please keep comments and questions on topic.