9.09.2010

Very Cool Ancient Writing Demonstrations Video

Facebook | Videos Posted by Oriental Institute- University of Chicago: Visible Language
As I've mentioned before, the next temporary exhibit at the Oriental Institute is "Visible Language" focusing on the development, spread, and use of writing in ancient Egypt and the Near East.
Even people who are not a part of Facebook should be able to view the video at the link above. If you can't, please let me know in the comments or via email and I will be sure to make other arrangements.
It's a great demonstration of how Egyptian hieroglyphs were written with reed pen and ink on papyrus and how cuneiform was impressed in soft substances like clay with a wedge-shaped stylus.

There isn't any commentary, but it's still a fabulous visual demonstration. The Egyptian is written by Ray Johnson, who is the director of the Epigraphic Survey in Egypt and the cuneiform is written by Theo van den Hout, who is a professor of Hittitology and currently the head of the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. They're both two of my favorite people around the OI (well, Ray is in Egypt 6 months of every year), so I'm especially happy to share the video.

2 comments:

Alwen said...

That is so cool.

Wouldn't you like the time machine (or at least a time window) to see their clerks' writing speed?

(And I did get right in to the video without logging on.)

Shoveling Ferret said...

Not only to see the writing speed but also to smack them for using crappy hieratic. And to retrieve the vowels.