Hieroglyphics and the Acceptance of Human History

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Blacker, Elise
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Ancient Egypt has long been thought of as interminably ancient, utterly and completely out of reach. Hieroglyphics have undeniably played a massive role in this conceptualisation of Egypt, entrancing many a small child’s imagination with what seems to a modern eye nonsensical pictures in unintelligible patterns. Yet others have historically disdained that which they do not understand, which was certainly the case with some Europeans’ views on the subject of both Egypt and hieroglyphics. The struggle to understand hieroglyphics lasted for over a millennium, not ending until the nineteenth century and during those years, the summary hegemony of the Bible’s authority on matters of history began to waver. This paper will examine historical European perceptions and understanding of Ancient Egypt and its hieroglyphics from antiquity to the enlightenment era alongside the development of the field of chronology, with special attention to the brief areas where the two quite distinct topics intersect.
Hieroglyphics, Ancient Egypt