Fridays – The Unity of Art and Writing in Ancient Egypt
2/9 & 2/16 @ 11:00 AM/CH
Instructor: Stephen “Dr. Steve” Phillips, Ph.D.
The origins of the ancient Egyptian writing system, perhaps the world’s earliest, dates back to some 5,500 years ago. However, the true nature of their system of hieroglyphic writing remained an enigma until 1822, when a French scholar, Jean-Francois Champollion, published one of the first successful attempts at decipherment. It wasn’t until later, however, that scholars realized that there are deep interconnections between art and writing in ancient Egypt. In numerous contexts, art and writing are literally one in the same.
Part I of the class introduces you to the basic concepts of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the earliest evidence for writing, the basic alphabet, numbers, what the symbols represent, and which direction in which one reads a given text.
Part II of the class explores the deep interconnection between ancient Egyptian art, architecture, and writing. Can art actually be writing? Can writing actually be art? Can writing be incorporated into an ancient Egyptian building?