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MODERN EGYPT

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Bianca
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« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2009, 09:36:39 am »










The breakthrough in Dr El Daly’s research came from analysis of the work of Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Wahshiyah, a ninth century alchemist. Ibn Wahshiyah’s work on ancient writing systems showed that he was able to correctly decipher many hieroglyphic signs. Being an alchemist not a linguist, his primary interest was to identify the phonetic value and meaning of hieroglyphic signs with the aim of accessing the ancient Egyptian scientific knowledge inscribed in hieroglyphs.

“By comparing Ibn Wahshiyah’s conclusions with those in current books on Egyptian Language, I was able to assess his accuracy in understanding hieroglyphic signs,” says Dr El Daly.

“In particular I looked at the Egyptian Grammar of Sir Alan Gardiner which has a sign list at the end, it revealed that Ibn Wahshiyah understood perfectly well the nature of Egyptian hieroglyphs.”

Dr El Daly added: “Western culture misinterprets Islam because we think teaching before the Quran is shunned, which isn’t the case. They valued history and assumed that Egypt was a land of science and wisdom and as such they wanted to learn their language to have access to such vast knowledge.

“Critically they did not, unlike the West, write history to fit with the religious ideas of the time, which makes their accounts more reliable. They were also keen on the universality of human history based on the unity of the origin of human beings and the diversity of their appearance and languages. Furthermore, there are likely to be many hidden manuscripts dotted round the world that could make a significant contribution to our understanding of the ancient world.

Dr Okasha El Daly is based in UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, one of the world’s largest collections of artefacts covering thousands of years of ancient Egyptian prehistory and history. On Wednesday 6 October UCL launches the biggest university fundraising campaign, Advancing London’s Global University - the Campaign for UCL, which will seek to raise £300 million over the coming decade, including £25 million to build a purpose built museum, the Panopticon, that will house UCL’s collections of Egyptology, art and rare books in an environment that preserves them for all to see.

The Panopticon, which means ‘all-visible’ in Greek, will be unlike any other museum in the UK because the entire collection will be on display and publicly accessible. Other highlights will include works by Durer, Rembrandt, Turner and Constable; an unrivalled collection of John Flaxman’s drawings and sculpture; the first edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost and the George Orwell archives.


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Adapted from materials provided by University College London.
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 MLA University College London (2004, October 7). Hieroglyphics Cracked 1,000 Years Earlier Than Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2004/10/041007085716.htm
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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