I recently read an article about language and translation of ancient Egyptian life in the New York Times. It discusses how the people of this time in Egypt spoke different languages and wrote in different script that was mush simpler than the earliest hieroglyphs found from the ancient world. This was the language of the common people.
Demotic Egyptian, the language and writing was named by the Greeks, meaning the tongue of the demos and was of of the three languages found on the Rosetta Stone. Accompanied by hieroglyphs and Greek, Demotic has helped uncrack the lost language of the Ancient Egyptians and has defined the history of Egypt as we know it today.
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has now published a 2000 page dictionary after 40 years of research. Because there are only half the amount of Demotic words known at this time, researchers believe that this dictionary may help translate ancient Demotic document. It is important that this language be fully researched because there are more unpublished Demotic texts than any other stage of Early Egyptian writing. By revealing the mysteries that lay on these ancient pages, scholars may be able to further investigate the ancient past of Egypt and may confirm or disprove the history of these people as we know it today.
I think it is very important that this language be researched so we can learn more about the social, cultural, and political life of ancient Egypt. Without a full understanding of this language we may be missing out on key event in history.
During the time Demonic Egyptian was used, Egypt was dominated by Persians, Greek, and Romans. By exploring the language of the common people, we will be able to better understand how they felt about these intrusive powers and what their daily lives were. We already know so much about dynastic rulers but we don’t know as much about everyday people at this time. This dictionary may open up a whole new world of research and history by being able to closely study the lives of common Egyptians during foreign dominance.