Ashuri refers to the Assyrian language and script mentioned in the Tractate Megillah and the Talmud Bavli. The mention of Lashon Ashuri, or Assyrian language, is referenced twice in the Tractate Megillah, in Megillah 17a:9 and Megillah 18a:23, where the Rabbi interchanges Ashuri with Hebrew. Hebrew is referred to as Lashon Hakodesh, or Holy Tongue; the interchanging of Ashuri with Hebrew prompts the understanding that Ashuri and Lashon Hakodesh are one and the same language. Ktav Ashuri, or Assyrian script, is a traditional calligraphic form of the alphabet shared between Hebrew and Aramaic. Over some centuries, certain ornaments were simplified or removed for use outside traditional religious calligraphy, to become the modern print form of the Hebrew alphabet, which it most resembles. Mention of the Ashuri script first appears in rabbinic writings of the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods, referring to the formal script used in certain Jewish ceremonial items, such as sifrei Torah and mezuzot. Sometimes called the "square" script, the term is used to distinguish the Ashuri script from the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet.
The Talmud gives two opinions for why the script is called "Ashuri": either because the Jews brought it back with them when they returned from exile in Assyria. There are many rules concerning the proper formation of letters if the written text is to be valid for religious purposes. Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Yemenite Jews each have their own calligraphic tradition regarding certain details of how each letter is formed, although the overall shape is similar. While each tradition favors their own calligraphic style, none consider the other traditions passul for Torah scrolls or any other ritually used scroll or parchment. Samaritans maintain a calligraphic tradition different from the Ashuri script, using instead the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet they employ for their scriptures. Ktav Stam Ashur Assyrian people Ashuri, Iran, a village in Hamadan Province, Iran
Teotihuacan, is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, located in the State of Mexico 40 kilometres northeast of modern-day Mexico City, known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas. After the collapse of Teotihuacan central Mexico was dominated by the Toltecs of Tula until about AD 1150. At its zenith in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more, making it at least the sixth largest city in the world during its epoch; the city covered 8 square miles. Apart from the pyramids, Teotihuacan is anthropologically significant for its complex, multi-family residential compounds, the Avenue of the Dead, its vibrant murals that have been well-preserved. Additionally, Teotihuacan exported fine obsidian tools; the city is thought to have been established around 100 BCE, with major monuments continuously under construction until about 250 CE.
The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries CE, but its major monuments were sacked and systematically burned around 550 CE. Teotihuacan began as a religious center in the Mexican Highlands around the first century CE, it became the largest and most populated center in the pre-Columbian Americas. Teotihuacan was home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate the large population; the term Teotihuacan is used for the whole civilization and cultural complex associated with the site. Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented; the Aztecs saw these magnificent ruins and claimed a common ancestry with the Teotihuacanos and adopting aspects of their culture. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is the subject of debate. Possible candidates are the Otomi or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have suggested; the city and the archaeological site are located in what is now the San Juan Teotihuacán municipality in the State of México 40 kilometres northeast of Mexico City.
The site covers a total surface area of 83 square kilometres and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, receiving 4,185,017 visitors in 2017; the name Teōtīhuacān was given by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs centuries after the fall of the city around 550 CE. The term has been glossed as "birthplace of the gods", or "place where gods were born", reflecting Nahua creation myths that were said to occur in Teotihuacan. Nahuatl scholar Thelma D. Sullivan interprets the name as "place of those who have the road of the gods." This is. The name is pronounced with the accent on the syllable wa. By normal Nahuatl orthographic conventions, a written accent would not appear in that position. Both this pronunciation and Spanish pronunciation: are used, both spellings appear in this article; the original name of the city is unknown, but it appears in hieroglyphic texts from the Maya region as puh, or "Place of Reeds". This suggests that, in the Maya civilization of the Classic period, Teotihuacan was understood as a Place of Reeds similar to other Postclassic Central Mexican settlements that took the name of Tollan, such as Tula-Hidalgo and Cholula.
This naming convention led to much confusion in the early 20th century, as scholars debated whether Teotihuacan or Tula-Hidalgo was the Tollan described by 16th-century chronicles. It now seems clear that Tollan may be understood as a generic Nahua term applied to any large settlement. In the Mesoamerican concept of urbanism and other language equivalents serve as a metaphor, linking the bundles of reeds and rushes that formed part of the lacustrine environment of the Valley of Mexico and the large gathering of people in a city; the early history of Teotihuacan is quite mysterious and the origin of its founders is uncertain. Around 300 BCE, people of the central and southeastern area of Mesoamerica began to gather into larger settlements. Teotihuacan was the largest urban center of Mesoamerica before the Aztecs 1000 years prior to their epoch; the city was in ruins by the time of the Aztecs. For many years, archaeologists believed; this belief was based on colonial period texts, such as the Florentine Codex, which attributed the site to the Toltecs.
However, the Nahuatl word "Toltec" means "craftsman of the highest level" and may not always refer to the Toltec civilization centered at Tula, Hidalgo. Since Toltec civilization flourished centuries after Teotihuacan, the people could not have been the city's founders. In the Late Formative era, a number of urban centers arose in central Mexico; the most prominent of these appears to have been Cuicuilco, on the southern shore of Lake Texcoco. Scholars have speculated that the eruption of the Xitle volcano may have prompted a mass emigration out of the central valley and into the Teotihuacan valley; these settlers may have accelerated the growth of Teotihuacan. Other scholars have put forth the Totonac people as the founders of Teotihuacan. There is evidence that at least some of the people living in Teotihuacan immigrated from
Proto-Sinaitic referred to as Sinaitic, Proto-Canaanite, is a term for both a Middle Bronze Age script attested in a small corpus of inscriptions found at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai Peninsula and the reconstructed common ancestor of the Paleo-Hebrew and South Arabian scripts. The earliest "Proto-Sinaitic" inscriptions are dated to between the mid-19th and the mid-16th century BC. "The principal debate is between an early date, around 1850 BC, a late date, around 1550 BC. The choice of one or the other date decides whether it is proto-Sinaitic or proto-Canaanite, by extension locates the invention of the alphabet in Egypt or Canaan respectively." However the discovery of the Wadi El-Hol inscriptions near the Nile River shows that the script originated in Egypt. The evolution of "Proto-Sinaitic" and the various "Proto-Canaanite" scripts during the Bronze Age is based on rather scant epigraphic evidence; the "Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions" were discovered in the winter of 1904–1905 in Sinai by Hilda and Flinders Petrie.
To this may be added a number of short "Proto-Canaanite" inscriptions found in Canaan and dated to between the 17th and 15th centuries BC, more the discovery in 1999 of the "Wadi El-Hol inscriptions", found in Middle Egypt by John and Deborah Darnell. The Wadi El-Hol inscriptions suggest a date of development of Proto-Sinaitic writing from the mid-19th to 18th centuries BC; the Sinai inscriptions are best known from carved graffiti and votive texts from a mountain in the Sinai called Serabit el-Khadim and its temple to the Egyptian goddess Hathor. The mountain contained turquoise mines. Many of the workers and officials were from the Nile Delta, included large numbers of Canaanites, allowed to settle the eastern Delta. Most of the forty or so inscriptions have been found among much more numerous hieratic and hieroglyphic inscriptions, scratched on rocks near and in the turquoise mines and along the roads leading to the temple; the date of the inscriptions is placed in the 17th or 16th century BC.
Four inscriptions have been found in the temple, on two small human statues and on either side of a small stone sphinx. They are crudely done, suggesting that the workers who made them were illiterate apart from this script. In 1916, Alan Gardiner, using sound values derived from the alphabet hypothesis, translated a collection of signs as לבעלת lbʿlt Only a few inscriptions have been found in Canaan itself, dated to between the 17th and 15th centuries BC, they are all short, most consisting of only a couple of letters, may have been written by Canaanite caravaners, soldiers from Egypt or early Israelites. They sometimes go by the name Proto-Canaanite, although the term "Proto-Canaanite" is applied to early Phoenician or Hebrew inscriptions, respectively; the Wadi el-Hol inscriptions were carved on the stone sides of an ancient high-desert military and trade road linking Thebes and Abydos, in the heart of literate Egypt. They are at approx. 25°57′N 32°25′E, among dozens of hieratic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.
The inscriptions are graphically similar to the Serabit inscriptions, but show a greater hieroglyphic influence, such as a glyph for a man, not read alphabetically: The first of these is a figure of celebration, whereas the second is either that of a child or of dancing. If the latter, h1 and h2 may be graphic variants rather than different consonants; some scholars think that the רב rb at the beginning of Inscription 1 is rebbe. Brian Colless has published a translation of the text, in which some of the signs are treated as logograms or rebuses "Excellent banquet of the celebration of ʿAnat. ʾEl will provide plenty of wine and victuals for the celebration. We will sacrifice to her an ox and a prime fatling." This interpretation fits into the pattern in some of the surrounding Egyptian inscriptions, with celebrations for the goddess Hathor involving inebriation. Proto-Canaanite referred to as Proto-Canaan, Old Canaanite, or Canaanite, is the name given to the Proto-Sinaitic script, when found in Canaan.
The term Proto-Canaanite is used when referring to the ancestor of the Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew script before some cut-off date 1050 BC, with an undefined affinity to Proto-Sinaitic. While no extant inscription in the Phoenician alphabet is older than c. 1050 BC, "Proto-Canaanite" is a term used for the early alphabets as used during the 13th and 12th centuries BC in Phoenicia. However, the Phoenician and other Canaanite dialects were indistinguishable before the 11th century BC. A possible example of "Proto-Canaanite" was found in 2012, the Ophel inscription, when during the excavations of the south w
La Mojarra Stela 1
La Mojarra Stela 1 is a Mesoamerican carved monument dating from 156 CE. It was discovered in 1986, pulled from the Acula River near La Mojarra, Mexico, not far from the Tres Zapotes archaeological site; the 4 1⁄2-foot-wide by 6 1⁄2-foot-high, four-ton limestone slab contains about 535 glyphs of the Isthmian script. One of Mesoamerica's earliest known written records, this Epi-Olmec culture monument not only recorded this ruler's achievements, but placed them within a cosmological framework of calendars and astronomical events; the right side of the stone features a full-length portrait of a man in an elaborate headdress and costume, although the bottom half of the carving is badly weathered. Above the figure, 12 short columns of glyphs have been etched into the stone, matched by eight longer columns to the figure's right. Among these glyphs are two Mesoamerican Long Count calendar dates which correspond to May 143 CE and July 156 CE; the monument is an early example of the type of stela which became common commemorating rulers of Maya sites in the Classic era.
The figure engraved onto Stela 1 is complex and not interpreted. Pool describes the figure as follows: Prof. Philip Arnold has tentatively identified the stylized sharks as the Olmec Fish/Shark Monster, a symbol of rulership. According to Mary Ellen Miller, the figure wears the headdress of the Principal Bird Deity. Bird deities were featured on stelae of this period, can be seen on Izapa Stela 4 as well on monuments at Kaminaljuyu, Takalik Abaj, Zaculeu; the Tuxtla Statuette, a small 6-inch-high greenstone sculpture portrays a human dressed as a bird. It comes from the same culture and period as Stela 1, both feature Isthmian script glyphs; these two artifacts were found 70 km apart and their Long Count dates are separated by only 6 years. They may refer to the same person. For some years after discovery, the monument was in storage in the Museo de Antropología in Xalapa. In November 1995, as the monument was being prepared for display, a neglected series of glyphs was noticed on one side in eroded but still recognizable condition.
In 1993, again in 1997, after discovery of the new column of glyphs, John Justeson and Terrence Kaufman put forward a proposed decipherment of the glyphs. This decipherment names the figure depicted as "Harvester Mountain Lord", describes his ascension to kingship, a solar eclipse, appearances of Venus, an attempted usurpation, human sacrifice and Harvester Mountain Lord's own bloodletting; this decipherment has been disputed among others. Resolution of this debate will need to await further archaeological discoveries. Detail showing one of the two Long Count dates. Arnold, III, Philip J. "The Shark-Monster in Olmec Iconography", in Mesoamerican Voices, 2005, v. 2. Diehl, Richard "Mojarra, La", in Evans, Susan, ed. Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America, Taylor & Francis, London. Guernsey, Julia Ritual and Power in Stone: The Performance of Rulership in Mesoamerican Izapan Style Art, University of Texas Press, Texas, ISBN 978-0-292-71323-9. Justeson, John S.. "A Newly Discovered Column in the Hieroglyphic Text on La Mojarra Stela 1: a Test of the Epi-Olmec Decipherment".
Science. 277: 207. Doi:10.1126/science.277.5323.207. Retrieved 2006-10-25. Justeson, John S. and Terrence Kaufman Epi-Olmec Hieroglyphic Texts. Kaufman, Terrence "Early Mesoamerican Writing Systems" on University of Pittsburgh Department of Anthropology website. Koontz, Rex. Miller, Mary Ellen; the Art of Mesoamerica. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-20345-8. Pool, Christopher Olmec Archaeology and Early Mesoamerica, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-78882-3. Schuster, Angela M. H. "Epi-Olmec Decipherment" in Archaeology, online
The Tuxtla Statuette is a small 6.3 inch rounded greenstone figurine, carved to resemble a squat, bullet-shaped human with a duck-like bill and wings. Most researchers believe the statuette represents a shaman wearing a bird bird cloak, it is incised with 75 glyphs of the Epi-Olmec or Isthmian script, one of the few extant examples of this early Mesoamerican writing system. The human face carved into the stone is unremarkable except for the long bill that extends down his chest; this bill has been identified as belonging to the boat-billed heron, a locally abundant bird along the Tabasco and southern Veracruz Gulf Coast. Raised wings or a wing-like cape envelop the body; the Tuxtla Statuette is notable in that its glyphs include the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar date of March 162 CE, which in 1902 was the oldest Long Count date discovered. A product of the final century of the Epi-Olmec culture, the statuette is from the same region and period as La Mojarra Stela 1 and may refer to the same events or persons.
Similarities between the Tuxtla Statuette and Cerro de las Mesas Monument 5, a boulder carved to represent a semi-nude figure with a duckbill-like buccal mask, have been noted. The Tuxtla Statuette was discovered in 1902 by a farmer plowing his field in the west foothills of the Tuxtlas mountains in the Mexican state of Veracruz, it was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution shortly thereafter, reputedly smuggled into New York hidden in a shipment of tobacco leaf. At the time, several Mayanists including Sylvanus Morley, could not believe that the statuette pre-dated the Maya and suggested that the date and text were inscribed much than 162 CE; however discoveries, such as La Mojarra Stela 1 and Tres Zapotes Stela C, confirmed the antiquity of the statuette. The Tuxtla Statuette is in the collections of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.. It is on display in the National Museum of Natural History exhibit "Objects of Wonder".
Photo of boat-billed heron looking quite similar to the Tuxtla Statuette
Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters. Cursive hieroglyphs were used for religious literature on papyrus and wood; the hieratic and demotic Egyptian scripts were derived from hieroglyphic writing, as was the Proto-Siniatic script that evolved into the Phoenician alphabet. Through the Phoenician alphabet's major child systems, the Greek and Aramaic scripts, the Egyptian hieroglyphic script is ancestral to the majority of scripts in modern use, most prominently the Latin and Cyrillic scripts and the Arabic script and Brahmic family of scripts; the use of hieroglyphic writing arose from proto-literate symbol systems in the Early Bronze Age, around the 32nd century BC, with the first decipherable sentence written in the Egyptian language dating to the Second Dynasty. Egyptian hieroglyphs developed into a mature writing system used for monumental inscription in the classical language of the Middle Kingdom period.
The use of this writing system continued through the New Kingdom and Late Period, on into the Persian and Ptolemaic periods. Late survivals of hieroglyphic use are found well into the Roman period, extending into the 4th century AD. With the final closing of pagan temples in the 5th century, knowledge of hieroglyphic writing was lost. Although attempts were made, the script remained undeciphered throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern period; the decipherment of hieroglyphic writing would only be accomplished in the 1820s by Jean-François Champollion, with the help of the Rosetta Stone. The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek adjective ἱερογλυφικός, a compound of ἱερός and γλύφω; the glyphs themselves since the Ptolemaic period were called τὰ ἱερογλυφικὰ "the sacred engraved letters", the Greek counterpart to the Egyptian expression of mdw.w-nṯr "god's words". Greek ἱερογλυφός meant "a carver of hieroglyphs". In English, hieroglyph as a noun is recorded from 1590 short for nominalised hieroglyphic, from adjectival use.
Hieroglyphs may have emerged from the preliterate artistic traditions of Egypt. For example, symbols on Gerzean pottery from c. 4000 BC have been argued to resemble hieroglyphic writing. Proto-hieroglyphic symbol systems develop in the second half of the 4th millennium BC, such as the clay labels of a Predynastic ruler called "Scorpion I" recovered at Abydos in 1998 or the Narmer Palette; the first full sentence written in mature hieroglyphs so far discovered was found on a seal impression found in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen at Umm el-Qa'ab, which dates from the Second Dynasty. There are around 800 hieroglyphs dating back to the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom Eras. By the Greco-Roman period, there are more than 5,000. Geoffrey Sampson stated that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, invented under the influence of the latter", that it is "probable that the general idea of expressing words of a language in writing was brought to Egypt from Sumerian Mesopotamia".
There are many instances of early Egypt-Mesopotamia relations, but given the lack of direct evidence for the transfer of writing, "no definitive determination has been made as to the origin of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt". Instead, it is pointed out and held that "the evidence for such direct influence remains flimsy” and that “a credible argument can be made for the independent development of writing in Egypt..." Since the 1990s, the discoveries of glyphs at Abydos, dated to between 3400 and 3200 BCE, may challenge the classical notion according to which the Mesopotamian symbol system predates the Egyptian one, although Egyptian writing does make a sudden apparition at that time, while on the contrary Mesopotamia has an evolutionnary history of sign usage in tokens dating back to circa 8000 BCE. Hieroglyphs consist of three kinds of glyphs: phonetic glyphs, including single-consonant characters that function like an alphabet; as writing developed and became more widespread among the Egyptian people, simplified glyph forms developed, resulting in the hieratic and demotic scripts.
These variants were more suited than hieroglyphs for use on papyrus. Hieroglyphic writing was not, eclipsed, but existed alongside the other forms in monumental and other formal writing; the Rosetta Stone contains three parallel scripts – hieroglyphic and Greek. Hieroglyphs continued to be used under Persian rule, after Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt, during the ensuing Ptolemaic and Roman periods, it appears that the misleading quality of comments from Greek and Roman writers about hieroglyphs came about, at least in part, as a response to the changed political situation. Some believed that hieroglyphs may have functioned as a way to distinguish'true Egyptians' from some of the foreign conquerors. Another reason may be the refusal to tackle a foreign culture on its own terms, which characterized Greco-Roman approaches to Egyptian culture generally. Having learned that hieroglyphs were sacred writing, Greco-Roman authors imagined the complex but rational system as an allegorical magical, system transmitting secre
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent the syllables or moras which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary, called a syllabogram represents an consonant sound followed by a vowel sound —that is, a CV or V syllable—but other phonographic mappings such as CVC, CV- tone, C are found in syllabaries. A writing system using a syllabary is complete when it covers all syllables in the corresponding spoken language without requiring complex orthographic / graphemic rules, like implicit codas silent vowels or echo vowels; this loosely corresponds to shallow orthographies in alphabetic writing systems. True syllabograms are those that encompass all parts of a syllable, i.e. initial onset, medial nucleus and final coda, but since onset and coda are optional in at least some languages, there are middle, start and full true syllabograms. Most syllabaries only feature one or two kinds of syllabograms and form other syllables by graphemic rules. Syllabograms, hence syllabaries, are pure, analytic or arbitrary if they do not share graphic similarities that correspond to phonic similarities, e.g. the symbol for ka does not resemble in any predictable way the symbol for ki, nor the symbol for a.
Otherwise they are synthetic, if they vary by onset, nucleus or coda, or systematic, if they vary by all of them. Some scholars, e.g. Daniels, reserve the general term for analytic syllabaries and invent other terms as necessary; some system provides katakana language conversion. Languages that use syllabic writing include Japanese, Vai, the Yi languages of eastern Asia, the English-based creole language Ndyuka, Shaozhou Tuhua, the ancient language Mycenaean Greek. In addition, the undecoded Cretan Linear A is believed by some to be a syllabic script, though this is not proven. Chinese characters, the cuneiform script used for Sumerian and other languages, the former Maya script are syllabic in nature, although based on logograms, they are therefore sometimes referred to as logosyllabic. The contemporary Japanese language uses two syllabaries together called kana, namely hiragana and katakana, which were developed around 700; because Japanese uses CV syllables, a syllabary is well suited to write the language.
As in many syllabaries, vowel sequences and final consonants are written with separate glyphs, so that both atta and kaita are written with three kana: あった and かいた. It is therefore sometimes called a moraic writing system. Languages that use syllabaries today tend to have simple phonotactics, with a predominance of monomoraic syllables. For example, the modern Yi script is used to write languages that have no diphthongs or syllable codas. Few syllabaries have glyphs for syllables that are not monomoraic, those that once did have simplified over time to eliminate that complexity. For example, the Vai syllabary had separate glyphs for syllables ending in a coda, a long vowel, or a diphthong, though not enough glyphs to distinguish all CV combinations; the modern script has been expanded to cover all moras, but at the same time reduced to exclude all other syllables. Bimoraic syllables are now written with two letters, as in Japanese: diphthongs are written with the help of V or hV glyphs, the nasal coda is written with the glyph for ŋ, which can form a syllable of its own in Vai.
In Linear B, used to transcribe Mycenaean Greek, a language with complex syllables, complex consonant onsets were either written with two glyphs or simplified to one, while codas were ignored, e.g. ko-no-so for Κνωσός Knōsos, pe-ma for σπέρμα sperma. The Cherokee syllabary uses dummy vowels for coda consonants, but has a segmental grapheme for /s/, which can be used both as a coda and in an initial /sC/ consonant cluster; the languages of India and Southeast Asia, as well as the Ethiopian Semitic languages, have a type of alphabet called an abugida or alphasyllabary. In these scripts, unlike in pure syllabaries, syllables starting with the same consonant are expressed with graphemes based in a regular way on a common graphical element; each character representing a syllable consists of several elements which designate the individual sounds of that syllable. In the 19th century these systems were called syllabics, a term which has survived in the name of Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. In a true syllabary there may be graphic similarity between characters that share a common consonant or vowel sound, but it is not systematic or close to regular.
For example, the characters for'ke','ka', and'ko' in Japanese hiragana have no similarity to indicate their common "k" sound. Compare this with Devanagari, an abugida, where the characters for'ke','ka' and'ko' are के, का and को with क indicating their common "k" sound. English, along with many other Indo-European languages like German and Russian, allows for complex syllable structures, making it cumbersome to write English words with a syllabary. A "pure" syllabary would require a separate glyph for every syllable in English, thus one would need separate symbols for "bag", "beg", "big", "bog", "bug", "bad", "bed", "bid", "bod", "bud", "bead", "bide", "bode", etc. Since English has well over 10,000 different possibilities for individual syllables, a s