Egyptology (from "Egypt" and Greek _gr. -λογία, "-logia". _ar. علم المصريات, _fa. مصر شناسی) is a major field of
archaeology, the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an "Egyptologist".
Development of the field
The first Egyptologists
The first Egyptologists were the ancient Egyptians themselves. Thutmosis IV, then only Prince Thutmosis, restored the Sphinx and had the dream that inspired his restoration carved on the famous
Dream Stela. Less than two centuries later, Prince Khaemweset, fourth son of Ramesses II, is famed for identifying and restoring historic buildings, tombs and temples including the pyramid of Unasat Saqqara.
Greek and Roman era
Some of the first historical accounts of Egypt were given by
Herodotus, Strabo, Diodorus Siculusand the largely lost work of Manetho, an Egyptian priest, during the reign of Ptolemy Iand Ptolemy IIin the 3rd century BC.
Progress was made by Muslim historians in
Egyptand elsewhere from the 9th century AD. The first known attempts at deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphswere made by Dhul-Nun al-Misriand Ibn Wahshiyyain the 9th century, who were able to at least partly understand what was written in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, by relating them to the contemporary Coptic languageused by Coptic priests in their time. Abdul Latif al-Baghdadi, a teacher at Cairo's Al-Azhar Universityin the 13th century, wrote detailed descriptions on ancient Egyptian monuments.Dr. Okasha El Daly (2005), "Egyptology: The Missing Millennium: Ancient Egypt in Medieval Arabic Writings", UCL Press, ISBN 1844720632. ( cf.[http://www.muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=481 Arabic Study of Ancient Egypt] , Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.)] Similarly, the 15th-century Egyptian historian al-Maqriziwrote detailed accounts of Egyptian antiquities.
European exploration and travel writings of ancient Egypt commenced from the 13th century onward, with only occasional detours into a more scientific approach, notably by
John Greaves, Claude Sicard, Benoît de Maillet, Frederic Louis Nordenand Richard Pococke. In the early 16th century, the Jesuit scientist-priest Athanasius Kircherwas the first to identify the phonetic importance of Egyptian hieroglyphs, and he demonstrated Coptic as a vestige of early Egyptian, for which he is considered the "founder" of Egyptology.Woods, Thomas. "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization", p 4 & 109. (Washington, DC: Regenery, 2005); ISBN 0-89526-038-7.] In the late 18th century, with Napoleon's scholars' recording of Egyptian flora, fauna and history (published as "Description de l'Egypte"), the study of many aspects of ancient Egypt became more scientifically oriented. The British captured Egypt from the French and gained the Rosetta Stone. Modern Egyptology is generally perceived as beginning about 1822.
Jean François Champollionand Ippolito Roselliniwere some of the first Egyptologists of wide acclaim. The German Karl Richard Lepsiuswas an early participant in the investigations of Egypt; mapping, excavating, and recording several sites. Champollion announced his general decipherment of the system of Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time, employing the Rosetta Stone as his primary aid. The Stone's decipherment was a very important development of Egyptology. With subsequently ever-increasing knowledge of Egyptian writing and language, the study of Ancient Egyptian civilisation was able to proceed with greater academic rigour and with all the added impetus that comprehension of the written sources was able to engender. Egyptology became more professional via work of William Matthew Flinders Petrie, among others. Petrie introduced techniques of field preservation, recording, and excavating. Howard Carterexpedition brought much acclaim to the field of Egyptology.
Rifa'a el-Tahtawiwas one of the first main scholars of Egyptian Egyptology. He was inspired by the work of Muslim Egyptologists in medieval Egypt, though modern Egyptian Egyptology developed slowly compared to its Western scholars, primarily because of Islamic identity. Islamic and modern Egyptian civilization has been influenced by the pre-Islamic Egyptian culture with which Egyptology is concerned.
In the Modern era, the
Supreme Council for Antiquitiescontrol excavation permits for Egyptologists to conduct their work. The field can now use geophysical methods and other applications of modern sensing techniquesto further Egyptology. The Egyptian languages (such as Hieratics and Coptic) and the Egyptian writingsystems are still of importance in Egyptology.
Egyptology has attracted various
pseudoscientifictheories of which most are widely discounted by many Egyptologists. This includes esoteric, or extraterrestrial, subjects which are considered pseudohistoricaloverall; few in Egyptology entertain views of the " New Age", ufology, occultism, " secret societies", or Atlantisideas.
List of Egyptologists
*; Categories:, , , , , , , , ,
*; Contributing studies:
Archaeology, Anthropology, Chronology, Philology, Language studies, Epigraphy, Social history, Ethnoarchaeology, Art history, Archaeoastronomy, Architecture, Oriental studies, Biblical studies
Egyptomania, Excavation, Artefacts
External links and articles
* David, Rosalie. "Religion and magic in ancient Egypt". Penguin Books, 2002. ISBN 0-14-026252-0
* Jacq, Christian. "Magic and mystery in ancient Egypt". Souvenir Press, 1998. ISBN 0-285-63462-3
* Manley, Bill (ed.). "The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt". Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05123-2
* Mertz, Barbara. "Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt". Dodd Mead, 1978. ISBN 0-396-07575-4
* Mertz, Barbara. "Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt". Bedrick, 1990. ISBN 0-87226-223-5
* "Mysteries of Egypt". National Geographic Society, 1999. ISBN 0-7922-9752-0
* [http://www.uee.ucla.edu/ Encyclopedia of Egyptology] at
* [http://www.civilization.ca/civil/egypt/egypt_e.html "Mysteries of Egypt". Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, 2001.]
* [http://guardians.net/hawass/index.htm Official Website for Dr. Zahi Hawass]
* [http://www.catchpenny.org/ Catchpenny Mysteries of Ancient Egypt] .
* [http://www.sacredsites.com/africa/egypt/great_pyramid.html Gray, Martin, "The Great Pyramid, Egypt". 2005.]
* [http://www.doernenburg.alien.de/RDV/RDV00_e.php Dörnenburg, Frank, "Mysteries of the Past". 2004.]
* [http://www.kv5.com/ Theban Mapping Project]
* [http://www.hallofmaat.com/ The Hall of Ma'at]
* [http://www.glyphdoctors.com Glyphdoctors: Online courses in Egyptology and other resources]
* [http://www.antiquityofman.com/AncientEgypt.html The Antiquity of Man Exploring human evolution and the dawn of civilisation]
* [http://www.ancientneareast.net/egyptology.html Egyptology - Ancient Near East .net] - a collection of links to online Egyptology resources
* [http://www.ssae.org.uk The Society for the Study of Ancient Egypt]
* [http://www.thessea.org/ The Society for the Study of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities, Canada]
* [http://www.egyptology-uk.com/ Sussex Egyptology Society Online]
* [http://www.gizaplateau.com/ Egypt Antiquity News Service]
* [http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/egypt/dailylife/hairstyles.html Ancient Egyptian Hairstyles]
* [http://www.philae.nu/akhet/index.html Akhet, the Horizon - Ancient Egyptian Religion]
* [http://www.dmoz.org/Reference/Museums/Science/Archaeology/Egyptology/ List of web sites for museums whose primary focus is on Egyptology] at the
Open Directory Project
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Egyptology — E gyp*tol o*gy, n. [Egypt + logy.] The science or study of Egyptian antiquities, esp. the hieroglyphics. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Egyptology — 1859, from EGYPT (Cf. Egypt) + OLOGY (Cf. ology). Related: Egyptologist … Etymology dictionary
Egyptology — [ē′jip täl′ə jē] n. the science or study of ancient Egyptian architecture, inscriptions, language, customs, etc. Egyptologist n … English World dictionary
Egyptology — Egyptological /i jip teuh loj i keuhl/, adj. Egyptologist, n. /ee jip tol euh jee/, n. the scientific study of Egyptian antiquities. [1855 60; EGYPT + O + LOGY] * * * Study of pharaonic Egypt from the putative beginnings of Egyptian culture (с… … Universalium
Egyptology — E|gyp|tol|o|gy [ ,idʒıp talədʒi ] noun uncount the study of ancient Egypt and its culture, history, and language, as shown by the buildings and objects that still exist. A student of Egyptology is called an Egyptologist … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
Egyptology — UK [ˌiːdʒɪpˈtɒlədʒɪ] / US [ˌɪdʒɪpˈtɑlədʒɪ] noun [uncountable] the study of ancient Egypt and its culture, history, and language, as shown by the buildings and objects that still exist. A student of Egyptology is called an Egyptologist … English dictionary
Egyptology — noun Date: 1862 the study of Egyptian antiquities • Egyptological adjective • Egyptologist noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
Egyptology — noun a) The study of ancient Egypt. b) A work concerning ancient Egypt … Wiktionary
EGYPTOLOGY — the science, in the interest of ancient history, of Egyptian antiquities, such as the monuments and their inscriptions, and one in which of late years great interest has been taken, and much progress made … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Egyptology — study of ancient Egypt Sciences and Studies … Phrontistery dictionary