The origins and development of early writing in Egypt:
The present course hopes to contribute to the study of writing evolution by surveying and evaluating the earliest evidence of writing in Egypt, from its first appearance around 3250BC until the reign of Djoser (ca. 2700BC) at the beginning of the Third Dynasty. The focus is on epigraphy and paleography but archaeological fieldwork and the social, economical and political landscape of the time will be used to contextualize the written sources.
The main part of the course will present the available source material through case studies starting with the earliest written evidence from tomb U-j, followed by the two largest corpuses of early inscriptions; sealings and vessel inscriptions. The content of the inscriptions will be used to explain larger societal developments. The students will be familiarised with the Early Dynastic period (ca. 3250-2700 BC) and its chronological and geographical framework, but the introduction will be brief in order to reserve sufficient time for discussing the corpus itself. A basic familiarity with the chronology is expected. Previous research and dating problems will be discussed throughout. The final part of the course will address the development of the early sign corpus and the complex process of codification and reform of the early script that finally resulted in the hieroglyphic writing of the Old Kingdom.
Le cours sera donné par le Docteur Ilona Regulskil (British Museum).