Friday, September 23, 2011

Hieroglyphics and Their Modern Lessons

I stopped by The Museum of World Treasures in Wichita today, as I do whenever I can. I usually just go into the Egyptian exhibit, which is conveniently one of the first galleries. I took a few photos and it wasn't until tonight in looking through them that I noticed this one.

It was taken from the side of one of the coffins. I have tried to teach myself to read hieroglyphics, but I know only some basics. However, one of the things I do know is that hieroglyphics can be read from left to right or right to left. You can tell which way because the figures always face the direction where you start - the beginning of the line.

So, in this case, it would have been read from right to left. But, you'll note the photo I took has it slanted as if it's the other way - the way it would be read in English - left to right. It reminds me just how much on auto-pilot I am a large part of the time. You'd think a person who has studied hieroglyphics, who considers her copy of The Egyptian Book of the Dead to be great bedtime reading, would have noticed this basic thing. But, I didn't.

It makes me wonder how many other basic things I am missing.

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