February 4, 2018
In class we started off with learning about the history of graphic design. We began with watching a video about whether if modern humans made the ancient paintings within Europe’s caves or if it was the Neanderthals. The archeologists were also looking for the dates that revolved around the time they were created. I learned that modern humans evolved around 200,000 years ago in Africa but they didn’t find or use things to express their emblematic ways until 100,000 years ago. The earliest paintings were found in Europe and the archeologist question as to why the painting started in Europe and not in Africa where it all began. They believe it is because Neanderthals populated Europe region. They also said the painting of caves was a religious practice. They were also interested in human symbolic behaviors started and whether or not it was the Neanderthals or modern humans created these paintings within the caves. Chances are it could be both because Neanderthals were did body painting and the modern humans were smart enough.
We also learned that Petroglyphs are a prehistoric rock carving. Pictographs are pictorial symbols for a word or phrase. Pictographs were used and are known as the earliest known form of writing, examples were discovered in Egypt and Mesopotamia from before 3000 BC. Emojis are an example of pictographs. Ideographs are a written character symbolizing the idea of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it for example roman numerals and Chinese characters. Phonograms are a symbol representing a vocal sound. We also learned about the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta stone is the reason why we were able to unlock and translate the hieroglyphs of The Egyptians from Africa.
The Rosetta stone is a groundbreaking historic palette that led to the unlocking of the hieroglyphs. Most Egyptians were not able to read and it wasn’t until 3100 BC where the Egyptians started to read and write. Hieroglyphs means sacred writing. The scribes were able to read the hieroglyphs and had a high status. Sometimes the scribes were the sons of the pharaohs. When they die they must continue their job and that is why they are buried with their tools. Egypt used bronze to conquer new territories they built huge stone monument lastly they developed writing. The Egyptian pictographs sometimes had different meanings, which made it a bit more complicated to understand and translate.
The Predynastic period dates from 5000-3100 BC which at the time was considered the Bronze Age. At the beginning they only had two hieroglyphs like the scorpion or rosette. Scorpions represented something symbolic but later on it changed to poison. The Narmer palette used a lot of eye make up to cut up from the sun it was a part of their cosmetic routine. They mixed it with eye paint. When someone is shown as larger in a palette it means they are important and have higher ranking in the social scale. On the other side of the palette it has writing (hieroglyphs) showing a story or a representation of that very important person.
The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funerary text that was used from the beginning of the New Kingdom around 1550 BCE to around 50 BCE. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated to rw nw prt m hrw which is translated as Book of Coming Forth by Day. In class I learned about Ani, a scribe from the Egyptian city of Thebes who lived in the 13th century BCE. The book of the dead by him a 78 foot papyrus scroll that will help him attain immortality. At first it was for pharaohs then it become more common and everyone was given the opportunity of immortality. The journey begins with death the body is mummified and they remove every organ except for the heart then they add linen and woven with charms to be used for the after life. The spirit must pass through the Duat (the underworld). Today the papyrus of Ani resides in the British Museum where has been since 1838.