Monday, April 02, 2012


As I sit here and try to imagine what I might write about today I find myself staring at my books. A whole wide set of shelves sitting above me, piled high with archeological texts, white bound books that are plain but contain a wealth of information... much more than the flashy, colorful ones beside them with all the pretty pictures. It brought me to the thought I have had many times after talking to people about Ancient Egypt. Everyone asks what books they should read.

I have always been a person who could respond, "Read everything." It is what I do. Everything from books written by people cloistered in desert tents to the conspiracy theorists who claim the pyramids were a death ray. It is important to know what is truth and what is a line of.... well you know. It is also important to know these things for yourself. No one can tell you what to believe. They can only tell you what they believe, the evidence they have for it and try to persuade you. In the end the choice is yours.

It brings me back to my books. I know most people have seen the flashy books up there, or at least something very near to them, but for me the real research has always come from those bland white ones with the newsprint like pages.I have thought often about including book overviews with important points, pros, cons, biases, all the usual thing a book review has. I still contemplate it but now, I think I should start with the ones most people wouldn't pick up off the shelf.

Here we start with a foray into my library. We are going to start with one of the books I treasure very much.

"Old Hieratic Paleography" by Hans Goedocke

This out of print, according to, book may still be available through the publisher, Halgo, Inc. This book doesn't hold much information to read. It is a tool, an essential one I have found over the years. What this book does do is gives the complete Gardiner Hieroglyph list with a companion of how it is used in script (ie Hieratic) form in various areas of Egypt. It addresses in neat columns how those glyphs appear when not carved into monuments and tomb walls. The extra bonus is in places where, say a certain glyph hasn't been encountered yet in say Giza, there is a blank square. In that square, when you find a source, you can add to the list.

Now, this book is not essential for everyone but for people who wish to take a foray into translation or reading or writing then it is worth hunting down a copy of this rather large book.

(ISBN: 0-9613805-4-3)

Once a week or so you can expect to see a review like the one above. Just a snippet so that you can judge if it is a book worth finding for yourself. While I can sit here and blog I can not do it constantly nor can I possibly hope to cover every piece of information. Besides what I see as common information might bring a startling revelation to another. This is the essence of learning and belief. It is personal and it can only be facilitated, never forced.

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