After over 170 years since the decipherment by Champollion of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, inscriptions from antiquity continue to be discovered and old texts persist in yielding new insights. Some scripts such as Easter Island's rongo-rongo still seem to defy translation while the understanding of the ancient Mayan glyphs is beginning to flourish. The study of ancient languages and scripts is alive and well!
My interest in languages is widespread and includes several European languages, Arabic, Hebrew, Akkadian, Sumerian and those of Polynesia, along with Ancient Egyptian, of course. Regarding the latter, I am involved in a study of ancient Egyptian funerary cones. These ceramic and typically cone-shaped (though by no means exclusively so) objects are stamped with biographical funerary inscriptions and appear to have been a component in tomb architecture although their full function and meaning remain enigmatic. The inscriptions are very useful and have been the focus of most studies but a consideration of these objects apart from the texts themselves is rarely undertaken. My present study of these interesting objects views them not only as inscriptions, but as three-dimensional artifacts with great variety in terms of size, shape, color, and material.

An example of an Egyptian funerary cone text.

Publications by Donald P. Ryan:

1987 "Inscribed Egyptian funerary cones in-situ: An early observation by Henry Salt." (with C.N. Reeves) Varia Aegyptiaca 3(1):47-49.

1988 "The archaeological analysis of inscribed Egyptian funerary cones." Varia Aegyptiaca 4(2):165-170.

1986 Book Review of: H.M. Stewart (1986), "Mummy cases and inscribed funerary cones in the Petrie collection." Varia Aegyptiaca 2(3):225-228.

In preparation: "Corpus of Inscribed Egyptian funerary cones, Part II."

Language and Scripts Links:
  • African Writing Systems
  • Afroasiatic Index Project (Oriental Institute)
  • Ancient Scripts of the World
  • ANE Languages
  • Aramedia (Arabic computer and other resources)
  • Austronesian Language Comparison
  • Chicago Assyrian Dictionary Project (Oriental Institute)
  • Chinese Linguistics Page
  • Coptic Language
  • Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library
  • Dead Sea Scrolls Project (Oriental Institute)
  • Demotic Dictionary Project (Oriental Institute
  • Epigraphic Survey (Oriental Institute)
  • Ethnologue: Languages of the World
  • Hittite Dictionary Project (Oriental Institute)
  • I Love Languages
  • Inwewinan:Native American Languages
  • Languages and Scripts of India
  • Mayan Epigraphic Data-base Project
  • Numbers in over 4000 Languages
  • Other Epigraphies
  • Quechua Language Home Page
  • Rongo-Rongo
  • Sumerian Lexicon Project (Oriental Institute)
  • Sumerian LanguagePage
  • Viteliu:The languages of ancient Italy

    History of Writing
  • History of Writing
  • Prof. Fradkin's Evolution of the Alphabet
  • The Origins and Emergence of West Semitic Alphabetic Scripts
  • The Massey Twins and Decipherment

    Documents and Papyrology
  • Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center
  • Ancient Manuscript Database
  • Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford
  • Duke Papyrus Archive
  • Papyrus Home Page, Princeton University Library
  • Scriptorium
  • Tebtunis Papyri Collection, Berkeley
  • University of Michigan Papryus Collection

    Hebrew Language
  • Biblia Hebraica
  • Many Hebrew Links
  • National Center for the Hebrew Language
  • Hebrew For Me
  • Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet (scribal technique)
  • Jewish Languages

    Miscellaneous Language Links
  • Free Online Language Courses
  • Micheloud's Learning Languages
  • Omniglot: Writing Systems and Languages of the World
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Vocabulary Training Exercises
  • On-Line Multi-Language Dictionary

  • Fonts for Scholars
  • Free Fonts Archive
  • RK Ancient Fonts
  • Scriptorium
  • Yamada Language Center Fonts

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