23 March 2007

Dictionary of Middle Egyptian

(in Gardiner Classification Order)
by Paul Dickson
December 1, 2006
As I began trying to learn to read the hieroglyphic writing of Middle Egyptian I was frustrated that all of the available dictionaries were organized around the approximate sounds of the words instead of their spelling, as is used in most other dictionaries.

When I learned that all of the raw material was available for making my own dictionary, organized the way I wanted, I set out on this project.


The definitions are organized in order by the Gardiner Codes of the glyphs that make them up. This system, developed by Alan Gardiner in the early part of the 20th century, groups the symbols into families according to what they look like.

Download PDF (18.3 MB)

[The original definitions, transliterations, and glyph sequences are by Mark Vygus, via Luca Brigatti's web site. The word lists are from Faulkner's
dictionary and other sources.]

The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor

The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor is a tale of adventure which may be an ancestor of the story of Sinbad. Only one copy of this story was ever found, written in Hieratic script (a sort of shorthand version of hieroglyphic writing) on a papyrus that is now in the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was written during the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, probably during the early 12th Dynasty (1990-1750 B.C.E.). The story is in the Middle Egyptian language, and has rather simple grammar as such things go.

Download PDF (1.3 MB)

The tale is presented here in a hieroglyph transcription from Hieratic. Translation and commentary is from a series of notes by James P. Allen, Curator, Department of Egyptian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hieroglyphic typesetting was done by Paul Dickson using the JSesh program and then merged with the text in OpenOffice.

Pyramid's Secret Doors to Be Opened

Doors will soon open to reveal one of the mysteries of the Great Pyramid in Giza, Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News in an exclusive interview.

Hawass, one of the world's leading Egyptologists, said he will show what lies behind secret doors inside the 4,500-year-old pharaonic mausoleum by the end of this year.

"Finally, people all over the world will know what is behind the second door in the southern shaft and the third door in the northern shaft," Hawass said.

Read more: dsc.discovery.com

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