Jun 22, 2017 07:55 AM EDT
Archaeologists from Yale University and the Royal museums of art and history in Belgium uncover the secrets of an ancient Egyptian rock writings.
The system of hieroglyphics confirms that a lot of primeval Egyptians were literate. The findings date back to 5,200 years. It was discovered on a hill in the Elkab desert, a bustling district in Ancient Egypt.
Previously, experts believe that written symbols have been used for bureaucratic purposes only. Per Yale News, a rock art carved between 4, 000 to 3,500 B.C.E. depicts a herd of elephants. One of the elephants has a baby inside of it, which the researchers described as "a rare way to represent a pregnant animal".
John Coleman Darnell, a professor in Yale University Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and an Egyptologist, led the study. He and his team also found a panel of four signs written from right to left and were created circa 3,250 B.C.E. It portrayed animal images like a bull's head on a short pole followed by two back-to-back saddle-billed storks. A bald ibis bird above them is also featured.
The particular arrangement of symbols like the one mentioned above is common in later Egyptian representations of the solar cycle. Darnell noted that the discovery of hieroglyphics is not new. However, this is the first time that anyone has seen them on such a "massive scale".
According to the Mice Times of Asia, scientists were surprised by the size of the symbols. Each symbol measures over half a meter in height. The entire tableau, on the other hand, is about 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) in height. Before, found signs were only one or two centimeters in size.
Interestingly, using a new recording technique pioneered at Yale, Darnell and Alberto Urcia, a digital archaeologist and associate research scientist, created a series of 3D images of the inscriptions from photographs taken in the field. Darnell concluded that hieroglyphic was not a slow development of writing as previously believed.
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