Earliest monumental Egyptian hieroglyphs discovered

Archaeologists working at the ancient Egyptian city of Elkab have uncovered previously unknown rock inscriptions at El-Khawy, including the earliest monumental hieroglyphs that date back around 5200 years.

The newly discovered inscriptions (by Yale News)

The team of archaeologists located these rock inscriptions by mapping out routes based on road networks in Egypt. According to the researchers, the rock site at El-Khawy contains some of the earliest and largest signs from the formative stages of the hieroglyphic script. The ancient rock art depicts a herd of elephants including a little elephant inside of one of the larger ones (possibly representing a pregnant female animal), that are dated to between 4000-3500 BC. Next to these markings was an image of a bull’s head on a short pole and saddlebill storks with a bald ibis bird above and between them. These individual hieroglyphs each measure just over a half meter in height, and the entire tableau is about 70 centimetres in height. Moreover, archaeologists created a series of 3D images of the inscriptions from photographs taken in the field.

(after Yale News)

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