Scribe equipment (hieroglyph)

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in hieroglyphs
Further information: Equipment (disambiguation)
Seal ring. (Note also, hieroglyphs: bread bun (T), and jar stand (G). The 'sedge' means: "The King's scribe, overseer of the harem, Ahmose".)

The ancient Egyptian Scribe equipment hieroglyph, Gardiner sign listed no. Y3, (or reversed, Y4), portrays the equipment of the scribe. Numerous scribes used the hieroglyph in stating their name, either on papyrus documents, but especially on statuary or tomb reliefs.

The hieroglyph depicts the 3 major components of a scribe's equipment:

tube case – for holding writing-reeds
leather bag – for holding colored inks, (black, red, canonic colors, mixed with water and gum)[1]
wood scribal palette – with mixing pools; (not always made from wood)

Language usage[edit]

The scribe equipment hieroglyph is often used as a determinative for items relating to writing or the scribe. The Egyptian language meaning of the hieroglyph is zẖ3w, probably pronounced [zaçʀaw][2] in Old Egyptian, and [saçʀaw] following the consonant changes of Middle Egyptian. Often the transliteration "sesh" appears, derived from the mistaken reading propagated in the dictionary and books of E. A. W. Budge.

As the verb, it is used for:[3] to write, to draw, to make a design, to do into writing.

For the noun:[4] writing, inscription, written roll of papyrus, book, copy of a document, & handwriting. In plural usage: writings, letters, books, documents, archives, decrees, handwriting, the columns of a book, papers, title-deeds, registers, & literature. (Note, Budge's dictionary, has a "188 page Index" to these word meanings-(200-300 archaeological documents).[5]


Equipment, as an artifact[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Betrò, 1995. Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, Scribe's Palette, p. 238.
  2. ^ Loprieno (1995) p. 58
  3. ^ Budge, 1978, (1920). An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, (letter S),
    p. 619.
  4. ^ Budge, p. 619.
  5. ^ Budge, pp. 1067-1255.