When the University of Texas at Austin professor began her academic career in the s, at issue was not "Where did writing come from?
But Romer himself uses "Ramesses," i. Since the modern practices are all idiosyncratic, Romer's inconsistency here is not surprising. Earlier Egyptologists had often used the Greek names, instead of linguistic speculation, but the trend now has been -- and I follow it myself in these pages -- to try a give something like what the contemporary Egyptian forms would have been, or at least something with a connection to the ancient living language.
Alan Gardiner tried to use Coptic as a guide, which he also knew involved a distortion, since the pronunciation of Coptic had clearly changed from the older language. Anyone using "Thutmose" continues this practice, since the "o" is a late development and the "th" Coptic or Greek.
All of this involves a dilemma; and for Romer not even to discuss the issue, schmandt besserat before writing a business to act like names such as "Sesostris" are somehow illegitimate or absurd, is a kind of confusion, if not a deception.
The Greek names themselves pose a dilemma, since different forms turn up in different writers, or even in the same writer. We might continue to be puzzled, since the name in Herodotus,looks more likely to be derived from the name we see in Egyptian, namelywhile Manetho's name,doesn't.
But Romer skates right over these intriguing complexities, without bothering to clue us in. Another oddity in Romer is this: The term 'Memphis' does not refer to the ancient city of that name, which did not exist during the period of history covered in this volume, but to the region that was the centre of the Old Kingdom state.
It is defined today by the thirty-mile-long line of monuments that extend along the west bank of the Nile opposite modern Cairo from Abu Roash in the north to Maidum in the south Of course, the "modern sense" is irrelevant.
When the Greeks arrived in Egypt, long before there was a "modern sense" of anything, they had no difficulty identifying "towns or cities," which often bore names, like Sais,that had been used since the earliest days of Egyptian history, and whose names feature the generic determinative for a "town or city.
With Memphis, there are some different issues. One is that the city seems to have early born a name,that meant "White Wall," whose reference to its fortification would preclude it from embracing an area extending for thirty miles up and down the Nile.
Despite other names for Memphis, "White Wall" stuck as the name of the 1st Nome of Lower Egypt, which includes the immediate area of the city, but not the long range claimed by Romer. The aspect of its walls, long vanished in their original plastered mud brick, can nevertheless be examined in the enclosure wall of the pyramid of Djoserwhich is rightfully assumed to reproduce that of the nearby capital.
It could hardly be anything else. We might wonder if Romer is confused by something else apparently true, and relied upon by himself, that the Court for each King was seated in a palace adjacent to the construction site of his tomb.
That is probably how Memphis ended up acquiring the name"Enduring Beauty," derived, as we have seen, from the pyramid of Pepi I. As it happens, this pyramid was built at Saqqara, very nearly as close as possible to the site of the city of Memphis.
So the Court and the center of government were no more than a convenient walk a couple of miles from the metropolis of the nation. If business and residence grew up along the way, as is to be expected, the King's palace and the city might end up in appearance and fact as part of the same metropolitan complex.
Hence the application of the name. Similarly, although pyramid sites are scattered, Saqqara ended up containing the largest number of them, a good dozen.
If Romer makes his claims about Memphis without any real evidence, he does at least have an argument, a very strange one. His idea is that "towns and cities" proper did not exist before the existence of money and a cash economy, because cities require markets, and markets cannot exist with buying and selling with money.
He cites a character from Aristophanes who misses his native village, because it lacked buying and selling and, apparently money [p.
Thus, Romer says that Egyptian lacks words "for buying and selling" [ibid.
We might also wonder why the Eloquent Peasant is taking his goods to market if he is not going to sell them, and markets didn't exist.
Romer doesn't like the word "taxes,"because, of course taxes involve money [p. Romer using "tithe" for "tax" is just silly. And we even get a hint that the Egyptians didn't really have slavery, because it "assumes the existence of modern concepts of personal ownership, of individual freedom and abstract independent wealth" [p.
This is someone who has written about the Bible, yet he seems to have missed all the laws and discussion about slavery therein, from times before the Lydians and Greeks spread the use of money.
We should also note here that Romer uses the word "modern" a lot for things that certainly are familiar from Ancient, Mediaeval, or, for that matter, Asian and other societies. Let me pause another moment, since Romer again has produced an argument that proves too much.
However, Romer goes much further. So Spartacus wasn't a slave; and the great Zanj revolt against the Abbasids wasn't by African slaves. But this is the kind of nonsense Rome has gotten himself into.
We get the full business about the city of Memphis here:was living just two thousand years ago. Only China, with a continuous history since the Shang (c BC), has at least equalled this, but just barely if we bring Egyptian history down to the last hieroglyphic inscription ( AD)..
To the Egyptians, Egypt was, the "Black Land."Some people think that this referred to the skin color of the Egyptians.. However, the Egyptians contrasted. In her most recent book, When Writing Met Art (), Schmandt-Besserat investigated the impact of literacy on visual art.
She showed that, before writing, art of the ancient Near East mostly consisted of repetitive motifs. In these two volumes, Denise Schmandt-Besserat set forth her groundbreaking theory that the cuneiform script invented in the Near East in the late fou In , the University of Texas Press published Before Writing, Volume I: From Counting to Cuneiform and Before Writing, Volume II: A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens/5.
|LATEST ENTRIES||Mar 02, Charles rated it really liked it The dominant myths and theories of the origin of writing for many centuries were ex nihilo in nature. Someone, divine or mortal, just came up with it and it spread from there.|
|How Writing Came about by Denise Schmandt-Besserat||Daniel Chandler Signs We seem as a species to be driven by a desire to make meanings:|
|The earliest precursor of writing - Escola Finaly||History[ edit ] Early writing tablet recording the allocation of beer in southern Iraq— BC The cuneiform writing system was in use for more than three millennia, through several stages of development, from the 31st century BC down to the second century AD.|
Circumventing the issue of mixing Futures and Actors required extra head scratching time. I’ve already linked to this article, where Movio talked about moving away from Scala and towards Go.
Recent scholars of the history of writing describe what was first and foremost an administrative tool. According to their ‘administrative hypothesis’, writing was invented so that early states could track people, land and economic production, and elites could sustain their power. Ox, House, Stick: The History of Our Alphabet [Don Robb, Anne Smith] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Bold collage illustrations and clear prose trace the origins of our familiar letters.
Ox, House, Stick: The History of Our Alphabet [Don Robb, Anne Smith] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Bold collage illustrations and clear prose trace the origins of our familiar letters. From the proto-Sinaitic peoples. Reckoning Before Writing. by Denise Schmandt-Besserat. Marschack argues convincingly that the incised bones represent lunar calendars, recording periods sometimes as long as three years. In our modern society the abacus is still widely used both in the Orient as a business tool and in schools of western Europe and Russia to . Whereas Saussure had insisted that language is 'a form, not a substance', Hjelmslev's framework allows us to analyse texts according to their various dimensions and .
From the proto-Sinaitic peoples.