Talk Like an Egyptian

September 19, 2012

Ancient Egyptians didn’t only speak through hieroglyphs – they spoke and wrote Demotic Egyptian, meaning “the tongue of the demos, or the common people.” Now scholars at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute have published online a 2,000-page dictionary of these Demotic words. This Chicago Demotic Dictionary is being called “an indispensable tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period.” This is the second dictionary project the Oriental Institute has worked on – last year the final installment of a 21-volume dictionary of the language of Mesopotamia was completed. Read the entire article from the New York Times here.


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