Weigall, an Iconoclastic Egyptologist

  Transcription of a text from the tomb of Ahmose, son of Ebana, 18th DynastyA while back I mentioned that I had a wonderful dream of Egyptian hieroglyphics dancing about the yard, and got some requests to elaborate.


The dream was inspired by a book that I’d just finished reading, by Arthur Weigall ; the relevant portion is below:

Weigall – The Treasury of Ancient Egypt: Miscellaneous Chapters on Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology, 1912.

Along the embanked roads, men, cattle, and donkeys file past against the sky-line, recalling the straight rows of such figures depicted so often upon the monuments.

Overhead there flies the vulture goddess Nekheb, and the hawk Horus hovers near by. Across the road ahead slinks the jackal, Anubis; under one’s feet crawls Khepera, the scarab; and there, under the sacred tree, sleeps the horned ram of Amon.

In all directions the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians pass to and fro, as though some old temple-inscription had come to life. The letter M, the owl, goes hooting pas t. The letter A, the eagle, circles overhead; the sign UR the wagtail, flits at the roadside, chirping at the sign REKH the peewit.

Along the road comes the sign AB, the frolicking calf; and near it is KA, the bull; while behind them walks the sign FA, a man carrying a basket on his head.

In all directions are the figures from which the ancients made their hieroglyphical script; and thus that wonderful old writing at once ceases to be mysterious, a thing of long ago, and one realises how natural a product of the country it was.

I’ll write more tomorrow about Weigall who is a bit of a black sheep amongst some egyptologists – and also about Ahmose, part of whose autobiography appears above.


About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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