I recently visited a museum where Egyptian hieroglyphs were displayed. I saw two hieroglyphs there that looked a lot like two of the symbols scribbled
in Jim Penniston’s notebook.
In this picture, at the top right, you can see these same hieroglyphs. One looks like a fat capital A without the horizontal line, the other one is
right next to it, a rectangular base with a cone on top:
So I decided to dig in a little deeper.
Egyptian hieroglyphs each have a name, so I’ll give you the links to the lists with their names and refer to them by name from now on:
Names starting with A-L:
A to L
Names starting with M-Z:
M to Z
The two hieroglyphs I described above are ‘bread-cone’ and ‘hotep’. The bread-cone means ‘give’ and the hotep stands for ‘peace’. So
together they mean something like ‘give peace’.
The bread-cone and the hotep can be recognized in Penniston’s scribbles, in the middle of the page. The bread-cone has three little things above it
and the hotep seems a little too thick and narrow, but the basic shapes match:
I even found a picture of a very ancient hotep hieroglyph that matches the general size and thickness of the one in Jim’s notebook:
What about the rest of Jim’s scribbles? Could they be copies of hieroglyphs, too?
The first one, on the top left of the page, I could not identify. But the flag-like symbol next to it is the ‘flag’ hieroglyph, which stands for
‘god’. And the three vertical stripes next to it simply mean ‘plural’, i.e., ‘gods’ instead of ‘god’.
On the second line of the notebook page we have the bread-cone followed by the hotep, as explained, but what could these three things above the
It appears that three stripes next to each other can mean ‘plural’, but can also mean ‘we’ or ‘us’.
So together we have something like ‘gods we give peace’.
Now we can try the last one at the bottom of the page, the triangle within a sort of circle with things at two corners of the triangle. This could
very well be the ‘float’ hieroglyph scribbled down in a hurry. The float stands for ‘to provide’, ‘to supply’, or ‘to equip’. It is a
triangle, with a circular form around it and a smaller conical box at each corner of the triangle.
‘… gods we provide and give peace’ …?
It is interesting to note that, according to Wikipedia, ‘hieroglyphs’ meant ‘words of the gods’ in ancient Egypt.
Any thoughts? Any experts on hieroglyphs on this forum?