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February 23, 2020, 7:20 am UTC    
August 20, 2008 08:19AM
Archaeo: "Are there instances of metaphor depiction?"

Lee has given one example of the pintailed duck used as an ideogram for son.

This may have been for purely phonetic reasons but it seems likely there was also a symbolic meaning.

"As a phonogram, the sign was used to write the word sA, "son," and this explains the frequency of its appearance in the Egyptian inscriptions that were always careful to identify a person by patronymics and matronymics: "The N son of N son of N" and so on, going back sometimes far enough to cite the long genealogies recounted to Herodotus by his Egyptian interlocutress. Horapollon himself (and the late tradition of mixed Greco-Egyptian culture, from which he drew) saw a causal connection rather than the purely phonetic one that relates duck to "son": "When they want to write son, they depict a goose. Because this is the animal that shows the most affection for its offspring, and if someone chases one in order to capture it with its young, the father and mother offer themselves spontaneously to the hunters so that the young be saved. And it is for this reason that the Egyptians have thought it just to worship this animal."" (Betro 1996: 109)


If the 'forearm with palm down' sign had a similar usage, then what is its symbolic meaning - any suggestions?



CT: ".... this suggests the cubit was originally derived from the length of an idealized forearm....."

Archaeo: "I cannot help but comment that the above, as excerpted, seems an assumption."



Its a question of what is more or less likely.



Archaeo: "Could it be the forearm is the ideal depiction of the length of a cubit?"


Based on the hieroglyphic evidence, its likely the ~524mm cubit was derived from an idealized forearm as the 'forearm with palm down' sign represented the cubit. Similarly, the main subdivisions were represented by the 'hand without thumb' sign for 'palm' (1/7 of a cubit), and the 'finger' sign for 'finger' (1/28 of a cubit).


One of the earliest occurrences of the word cubit (mH), is found in the early Dyn 4 tomb of Metjen, where its simply written with the 'forearm with palm down' hieroglyph (D42). This sign can easily be confused with D41 or D36 as only slight differences distinguish them, but the main concern here is that, at least from as early as Dyn 4, it represented the cubit.

CT
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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