a reply to: Spider879
So, about language.
The language of Tut and co, was late Egyptian. We know that it was definitely of the proto Afro-asiatic language family. The language spoken by Tut
and co came before Demotic and the later coptic which is still used somewhat. It is far removed from the Egyptian arabic spoken today.
All this tells us that understanding the context of time and stage in linguistic progression with considerations for linguistic drift and possible
cultural exchange must be considered.
The language spoken by them was still not yet influenced by Greek cultural centers.
We must also consider that the ruling class had its own dialects that were used for sacred texts which was not spoken outside of the ruling classes.
There was even an alternate script and language construct used for spiritual purposes by the religious classes of the day.
What the ruling family spoke was probably more similar to old egyptian. I can imagine that this controversial family had much to do with the evolution
of the spoken language of the day. They were changing many aspects of the religious world as well as challenging social standards of the day. Even so
they must have spoken or least been familiar with old and middle Egyptian primarily since the differences were not that great. The two are based of
two different dialects, while old Egyptian would not be far removed enough to infer that it was no longer used in some form by the ruling classes.
We also know that from the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC) onwards, hieroglyphs were reserved almost exclusively for monumental inscriptions.
A handwritten hieratic script was used for records and correspondence. This was the language of rulers and priests.
The Amarna letters you referenced were written in provincial Babylonian. They were probably Middle Babylonian/Middle Assyrian.
While still part of the Afro-asiatic language family they are more closely classified as a semitic subgroup.
Middle babylonian was the language of diplomatic correspondence for the entire ancient Orient, including Egypt.
This could be seen as the role of modern day english in international trade and diplomacy. Each country spoke a different language and dialect
respectively, but their rulers communicated using this common form.
Let us not forget that rulers of this time were intermarried and related to each other as is the case for more recent royalty.
The language of the ruling families is then not like English is today for trade and diplomacy...it was a form of communication reserved for a select
few...mainly the royalty like Tut and co.
Within that there were different types of these hieratic scripts used for different purposes. Faster styles were used for administrative purposes and
internal correspondence while other more common forms were used religious purposes.
I would note that hieratic scripts are known to not be derivative of hieroglyphic writing styles. The two existed and originated from separate realms
of cultural influence.
It was even read differently from cursive hieroglyphs (left to right as opposed to right to left in cursive hieroglyphic scripts.
So now lets look at the similarities of hieratic scripts to other possible sources or contributing influences.
Kemetic "Hieratic" (3200 BC - 600 AD)
The term, "Hieratic" was first coined by Saint Clement of Alexandria (c 200 AD), a Greek theologian who used the term "grammata hieratika" or
priestly/sacerdotal writing. Although many scholars contend that "Hieratic" developed as an entirely distinct script from the Medu Neter,
the obvious visual similarities prove that it is also a somewhat simplified form of the Medu Neter that was mainly used for more
administrative and scientific documents throughout the dynastic history of both Kemet and Kush (3200 BC - 600 AD). However, linquists
have also shown similaries between it and the alphabetic Proto-Saharan or Thinite writing.
Proto Saharan (5000 - 3000 BC)
Perhaps the world's oldest known from of writing are inscriptions of what some archaeologists and linguists have termed, "Proto Saharan" near the
Kharga oasis west of so-called "Nubia" that date to at least 5,000 BC. The writings under the image that looks like the Nilotic god Seth show
similarities to later writing systems such as Tifinagh and Vai.
SO it would not be a far stretch to imagine at least a train of linguistic drift and cultural evolution of language of Hieratic script from proto
saharan, Nsbidi, and then into Medu Neter hieroglyphs while preserving a tradition among priest and ruling classes for the purpose of internal
communication. Lets also consider that any material used by these classes for formation and training would be written in older dialects and forms of
writing that would be translated and converted slowly into any new styles of language and writ.
That makes a case at least for influence from Niger–Congo language families into Afro-asiatic language families if not an outright source for their
later development and branching out into what is commonly known as Afro-asiatic.
If there is any link between proto European stock in ruling classes of ancient egypt as far as the late kingdom, there must be a link in their written
materials and writing styles for sacred information passed down along with any genetic evolution in these specific groups of leaders and priests.
Basque like proto basque was and is an “outlier” to the other languages in geographic relation to its nucleus of use. Its origin is often thought
to be a separate language family known as Vasconic languages. One of the most accepted origins for proto basque was Aquitanian.
Brief history of Aquitarian from wiki:
Aquitanian and its related descendant, Basque, are commonly thought to be a remnant of the languages spoken
in Western Europe before the arrival of Indo-European speakers. Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza's studies of the genetic history of Europe identified a
cline of genes with highest frequencies in the Basque country, and lower levels beyond the area of Iberia and Southern France. Cavalli-Sforza
describes this weakest of the five patterns he obtained as isolated remnants of the pre-Neolithic population of Europe. It corresponds roughly to the
geographical spread of rhesus negative blood types. Cavalli-Sforza's conclusion that the Basques are a genetic isolate as well as a linguistic
In orange and green we see Aquitarian and native Iberian overlapping in territory. They were very similar linguistically as well. As can be seen with
many other instances where this happens in other languages and populations, genetic exchange happens along side linguistic exchange.
We have to consider that the time we are talking about is VERY long ago. Close to the Upper Paleolithic. That is when any possible common ancestor
would have exited for Tut and Co if ever.
We all agree that Cro-Magnon people can be found in certain parts of Western Europe, North Africa and some of the Atlantic Islands today. Physical
anthropologists agree that Cro-Magnon is represented in modern times by the Berber and Tuareg peoples of North Africa, the all but extinct Guanches of
the Canary Isles, the Basques of northern Spain, the Aquitanians living in the Dordogne Valley and the Bretons.
edit on 3 29 2015 by tadaman
because: (no reason given)