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Meroe: writing

In the Napatan Period Egyptian hieroglyphs were used: at this time writing seems to be restricted to the court and temples. From the second century BC there is a separate Meroitic writing system. Meroitic is an alphabetic script with 23 signs used in a hieroglyphic form (mainly on monumental art) and in a cursive form. The cursive version was widely used; so far some 1278 texts are known (Leclant 2000). The script was deciphered by Griffith, but the language behind it is still a problem; only a few words are understandable. It is not yet possible to connect the Meroitic language with other known languages. Meroitic texts are collected in the 'Repertoire d'Épigraphie Méroďtique' (short REM, a computer database in Paris, published: Leclant 2000).

(click on the images for a larger picture or more information - marked yellow)

fragment of an offering table from Qasr Ibrim; REM 1185
fragment with Meroitic hieroglyphs; REM 0416
fragment, Meroe; REM 1254
UC 19560
UC 44223
UC 44174
fragment, Meroe; UC 44173
plaster fragment, Meroe; REM 1265
fragment, Meroe; REM 1266
UC 44173
UC 43986
UC 44175

Török 1997a: 62-67 (short introduction with further literature)


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