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Alexandra von Lieven (Berlin)

Hieroglyphs and Hieratic – what is the difference and does it matter?

From the earliest writings in the Early Dynastic Period around 3000 BCE, the Ancient Egyptians used two different forms of writing, the Hieroglyphs, as well as a cursive, the Hieratic script. From the latter, in the Late Period two even more cursive writing systems emerged – first so-called Abnormal Hieratic, then Demotic. They were then adopted as a third form together with the other two until the end of the traditional writing systems in the Late Roman Period. While Hieroglyphs were usually used for more monumental inscriptions on stone monuments and cursive scripts on papyri and ostraca, on closer inspection, the division is not as simple as that. The lecture will focus on the use of Hieroglyphs vs. Hieratic through the ages.