Re: Strange Maths (was Re: Why not 13 months?)

Whittet (
1 Aug 1995 22:01:15 GMT

In article <3vlff9$>, says...
>My understanding of the current thoughts on the emergance of
>'alphabetic' writings (as opposed to hieraglyphic or cuneiform) is
>that the semitic scripts were developed to allow the translations
>between those large cultures that occupied egypt and assyria, and
>that the semites at that time were the only group to produce
>the guild of translators/scribes? Though many 'upper-class' sumerians
>could read and write in cuneiform, there is no evidence to suggest
>that all sectors of the population could do so.

The profession of scribe in Egypt had about the same status and
necessity of attainment as a college degree in our modern world.

Any person of responsibility, overseer, army officer or trader would
either be a scribe or have one or more working for him.

As to whether all sectors of the population could do so, Up until about
the XVIII the Dynasty there were relatively few hieroglyphics to learn;
their sense was conveyed iconographically, much as the icons of a cathedral
were used to communicate the important concepts of Christianity.

Certainly land owners surveyors and lawyers needed to be able to understand
deeds; there seem to have been doctors who wrote prescriptions, accountants
who kept books, were all of these people Semites?

Nor is there is no good reason to believe that only the upper classes
could read and write and do sums, for we find the marks of quarry gangs
written on the blocks they placed in the pyramids; there is graffiti
on the walls of caves where people have written their names, letters,
from fathers to their sons advising them as to what it was right and proper
they should do with their lives...