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 February 23, 2020, 7:40 am UTC
 August 18, 2008 05:22PM Registered: 15 years ago Posts: 1,941
Depending on the context, hieroglyphs were used as ideograms, phonograms or determinatives.

G39 ('pintail duck') when used as a phonogram is the biliteral, zA. As an ideogram, it was also used as the determinative in 'pintail duck' - it actually represented a pintail duck.

Lee: "I don't really think mH (V 22, variant V 23) is an ideogram, by the way."

V22 / 23 ('whip') is the biliteral phonogram, mH

There are at least 13 'forearm' signs - D36.....D45, but the forearm sign used as the determinative in 'cubit' (mH) or as the ideogram for 'cubit' (mH), is D42, 'forearm with palm down'. Cubit was written with the 'whip' sign, V22 / 23 (mH) + the 'forearm with palm down' determinative D42. The determinative is "to show that the signs preceding it are meant as phonograms and to indicate the general idea of the word...."

When D42 is used alone, it is an ideogram representing 'cubit'. For example, 770 cubits in a pyramid text found in Pepi's pyramid, is written simply with sign D42, 'forearm with palm down', followed by V1, 'coil of rope' (St, '100'), repeated 7 times, followed by V20 (mDw, '10'), repeated 7 times.  In the early Dyn 4 tomb of Metjen, 200 cubits is written with D42, 'forearm with palm down', followed by V1, 'coil of rope' (St, '100'), repeated twice. In both these cases, D42 is used alone as an ideogram representing 'cubit'.

Why does the 'forearm with palm down' sign represent an ancient Egyptian linear measure of ~524mm. Could it be that as ~524mm is about the distance from elbow to tip of middle finger in an idealized forearm, the forearm came to represent the cubit, just as the 'hand without thumb' sign, D48, was the ideogram for 'palm' (Szp, 1/7 of a cubit) or the 'finger' sign, D50 was the ideogram for 'finger' (Dba, 1/28 of a cubit)?

The signs used for the cubit and its main subdivisions were represented by the forearm, palm and finger - all parts of the human anatomy used when measuring, so it seems only natural these came to represent linear units.

CT

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2008 05:26PM by Chris Tedder.
Subject Author Posted

#### royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Ogygos August 18, 2008 01:28AM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Chris Tedder August 18, 2008 03:26AM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Rich August 18, 2008 08:16AM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

archaeo August 18, 2008 12:56PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Lee August 18, 2008 01:11PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Chris Tedder August 18, 2008 05:22PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Kanga August 21, 2008 09:02AM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Chris Tedder August 20, 2008 08:19AM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Clive August 18, 2008 10:52AM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Dave L August 18, 2008 12:05PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Clive August 18, 2008 01:26PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Dave L August 18, 2008 05:02PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Clive August 18, 2008 11:35PM

#### Re: royal cubit in ancient Egypt

Lee August 19, 2008 09:41AM

#### The Royal Cubit Master

archaeo August 18, 2008 12:58PM

#### Re: The Royal Cubit Master

Hermione August 18, 2008 02:16PM

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