Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ancient Egypt

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WikiProject Ancient Egypt (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Ancient Egypt, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Egyptological subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Wikipedia:WikiProject Ancient Egypt:
  • Needed articles.

We should have an article on every Pharaoh & every nome in Ancient Egypt. Let's check to see if every important Egyptologist has an article. I'm sure the rest of us can think of other articles we should have.

  • Cleanup.

To start with, most of the general history articles badly need attention. And I'm told that at least some of the dynasty articles need work. Any other candidates?

  • Standardize the Chronology.

A boring task, but the benefit of doing it is that you can set the dates !(e.g., why say Khufu lived 2589-2566? As long as you keep the length of his reign correct, or cite a respected source, you can date it 2590-2567 or 2585-2563)

  • Stub sorting

Anyone? I consider this probably the most unimportant of tasks on Wikipedia, but if you believe it needs to be done . . .

  • Data sorting.

This is a project I'd like to take on some day, & could be applied to more of Wikipedia than just Ancient Egypt. Take one of the standard authorities of history or culture -- Herotodus, the Elder Pliny, the writings of Breasted or Kenneth Kitchen, & see if you can't smoothly merge quotations or information into relevant articles. Probably a good exercise for someone who owns one of those impressive texts, yet can't get access to a research library.

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Request for input in discussion forum[edit]

Given the closely linked subjects of the various religion, mythology, and philosophy groups, it seems to me that we might benefit from having some sort of regular topical discussion forum to discuss the relevant content. I have put together the beginnings of an outline for such discussion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/2011 meeting, and would very much appreciate the input of any interested editors. I am thinking that it might run over two months, the first of which would be to bring forward and discuss the current state of the content, and the second for perhaps some more focused discussion on what, if any, specific efforts might be taken in the near future. Any and all input is more than welcome. John Carter (talk)

Automated message by Project Messenger Bot from John Carter at 15:44, 5 April 2011

Tohuwabohou with Egyptian transcriptions and translations in en.Wikipedia[edit]

Hi everyone. Well, my German buddies of the Egypt Portal point to an confusing problem visible within our pharaoh boxes. As far as I know, terms such as "Nebti" (The name of the Two-Ladies-Crest) and "Bitj" are normally transcripted here as "Nebty" and Bity", right? How comes, that our boxes are so inconsistent about that??? Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 16:11, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I assume you're talking about transcriptions in the boxes in individual articles? I don't work with pharaoh infoboxes, so I don't know the details of that situation. Transcription systems do vary in English-speaking Egyptology, and as far as I know, English Wikipedia editors have never tried to standardize a system for our articles. When I'm working on an article without an established system, I use the system from James P. Allen's book Middle Egyptian, which differs from a lot of Anglophone systems; it uses nbtj instead of nbty or nbtı͗. (See Transliteration of Ancient Egyptian#Table of conventional transliteration schemes for a detailed comparison.) Do you think we should establish a standard? A. Parrot (talk) 18:27, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
The inner core of this riddle is the mix-up between transcription and transliteration. Gosh, it's like so confusing! Yes, A. Parrot, I would totally appreciate it if we could work out standards together! Awesome! Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 22:07, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, transcription always does weird things, which is why I personally avoid it except when writing proper names or long-established terms of art like ka and maat. As for a transliteration system, I think it would be a rel pain to enforce across all ancient Egypt-related articles. I don't know what we would settle on, either. I prefer Allen's system, for no better reason than that I'm familiar with it, whereas User:WANAX suggested suggested several months ago (here) that Manuel de Codage would be better because it avoids characters that some people's browsers can't read. A. Parrot (talk) 23:15, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

To be honest: I, personally, think that there should be no transcription and transliteration in the boxes anyway. I mean, c'mon - who the fxxx reads it??? Whom does it help to understand the name of an pharaoh/deity/object??? This whole translit and transcript thing is something for geeks, nerds and bossy pants. But surely not for common readers, who scarcely know what hieroglyphics are. In my personal opinion it would be more than enough if the box shows the hieroglyphs, the common reading in latin letters and -if present- the translation. That's all. Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 09:07, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I cannot disagree more with the above statement. It is absolutely necessary to record pharaoh's names in hieroglyphs with transliteration AND translation. I personnally read them all and I known people who like to read at least the translation of the names. We are writing an encylopedia not a leisure website about ancient Egypt. All information available has to be there (in a resumed form of course). I cannot care less if a majority of readers don't read this or that information about the pharaohs, again an encylopedia is not just about what most people want to see or not. It is a compendium of human knowledge. Otherwise, we better take down all pharaoh articles since the proportion of people interested in these pages is certainly an epsilon as compared to those wanting to read about facebook, Justin Bieber, or the episodes of Breaking Bad. It all has to be there, it must absolutely be kept. Iry-Hor (talk) 11:26, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
To keep the transcription - and transliteration stuff off the boxes would be surely better than presenting the reader such an tohuwabohou. That's what I meant. No reason to go havoc like that. If you read the textes at the top, you'll see that I favor the workout of an clear and strict concept to deal with that stuff. The above text has nothing to do with the result of an well organized workout, it was nothing but an personal thought. Gee, if I had known before that some authors here are that hysteric and explosive I'd have never come up eith that thread...--Nephiliskos (talk) 12:05, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, at least it taught me a new word. Tohu wa-bohu has not been adopted into English, but I know the term now. A. Parrot (talk) 17:15, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
My reply may appear passionate but it not explosive and even less hysteric. Iry-Hor (talk) 21:28, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
It would be nice to have at least a rudimentary MOS - maybe just for pharaohs as a start? 21:06, 27 July 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs)
  • I agree with Iry-hor's position. A translation and transliteration is needed with pharaoh's names. If a reader doesn't want to read the name they don't have to click on the Pharaohinfobox to view the hieroglyphic signs. Regards, --Leoboudv (talk) 02:21, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Should list of ancient Egyptian deities be included in the main ancient Egyptian deities article?[edit]

Please comment on this question at Talk:Ancient Egyptian deities#List of deities, again. A. Parrot (talk) 21:16, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

A proposition regarding Template:Pharaohs[edit]

Hello everyone. I have noticed that Template:Pharaohs is not only very useful to naviguate between Egyptian rulers but also it attracts people on article of little known pharaohs by providing a direct link between them and better known rulers such as Ramses II or Akhenaten. I particularly like the chronological ordering of the king the template provides but this also creates serious problem for rulers with highly uncertain dynastic position, identity or even existence. I take for example Nubnefer, Horus Sa, Qahedjet, Bikheris, Wadjkare and many more. When placed in the template, these shadowy rulers, who may simply be an unidentified name of an already known king, makes the mainstream successions in certain dynasties difficult to perceive, see e.g. the 4th dynasty on the template. Thus:

  • I propose that rulers with uncertain position, identity etc. be put in italic like this in the template, at the end of the dynasty if their position is completely unknown, and otherwise in place according to the opinion of a scholar but still in italic if it is debated.
  • I propose to revert back female rulers to names with normal font and some symbol next to it. There are many more rulers that are difficult to place than female ones.

If not in italic then we need some sort of way to mark the difference of certainty between the position of, for example, Nubnefer and Khufu. Please tell me your opinion. Iry-Hor (talk) 10:56, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi everybody. I agree to reverting back female rulers, or even to write their name in the same way of male rulers as they effectively were pharaohs in all respects. My concern is about the definition of uncertain: in a sense, many pharaohs of the Second Intermediate Period should be written in italic then, just think about Wepwawetemsaf (13th or 16th or Abydos Dynasty) or Senusret IV (13th or 16th or 17th Dynasty)... Khruner (talk) 12:38, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Well I agree that for the FIP and SIP many kings will show up as uncertain, but I thought that we need a way to signal the reader that the position of Qahedjet does not have the same value as that of say Seti I. I don't see what would be so bad about having many kings in italic. Iry-Hor (talk) 15:11, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Neither do I. The problem with boxes is that they make it really difficult to represent uncertainty. Italic text seems the least intrusive way of indicating it. A. Parrot (talk) 18:14, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Let's put it this way: the main problem is, that the box entices the readers to think that the chronological positions of the kings of certain dynasties was secure. Especially following dynsties are highly problematic, though: the end of 1st dyn., the midst of 2nd dyn., the midst of 3rd dyn. and the intermediate periods. Now, how to make clear in this box, that certain chronological timespans are seen as problematic? One solution might be, to put a note inside the dynasty fields saying something like: the chronology from king Blah up to king Blubb is highly uncertain and disputed within Egyptology, or so... Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 21:44, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes but that's too long for a template whose only goal is to guide and distribute readers between pharaohs articles. Furthermore, some of the kings suffer from other problems than debated chronological position. For example, the existence of Qahedjet is in doubt, Wadjkare could be a name of Neferirkare II and many more. Then we would have to write something else for these cases. This would flood the template and hinder navigation from pharaoh to pharaoh. Iry-Hor (talk) 06:52, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Can the making of several smaller templates for each period be a way to preventing flood? For example, in a "Pharaohs of the New Kingdom" template we can provide the kings of the three dynasties, we have place for small notes, and a navigation bar below would allow to skip to other periods. Khruner (talk) 08:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I do not have a strong opinion about the female rulers, but I strongly recommend to delete Merneith from the list. She was ruling for her son, but never had formal royal titles. I agreed that many kings are problematic, I am sure that some rulers appear in the list twice, once with name X and once with name Y. After all it might be wise to put them in italic, while the female rulers are not treated in a special way (or we can put a female sign behind their names ....can't find it under symbols...) best wishes -- Udimu (talk) 08:28, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Ok so I am now updating the template. Iry-Hor (talk) 09:01, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Obelisk making technology in ancient Egypt[edit]

Just noticed a PROD on this. "It is proposed that this article be deleted because of the following concern: Deletion criterion #6. No citations or attributions in six years." If people think this is worth saving, it just needs citations. Not sure about the title though. Dougweller (talk) 11:26, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

To be honest: delete it. It's so like redundant, this theme could be explained in the main article about obelisks as well. Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 21:37, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Wait do you mean that the content of the article is already in the article about Obelisk or that it should be? because if it is the later then we might as well keep this article and add references. Iry-Hor (talk) 08:39, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Source request[edit]

If anyone has access to the following, I would love to read it. It's for the antiquity section of female genital mutilation.

Paul F. O'Rourke, "The 'm't-Woman", Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 134(2), February 2007.

Many thanks! SlimVirgin (talk) 01:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

@SlimVirgin if it's not too urgent I think I can get this article in paper form, but not before a couple of weeks... Khruner (talk) 17:51, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
That would be very kind, Khruner, thank you, if it's no trouble for you. What I'm really hoping for is an electronic version of the heiroglyphic text that I can copy over. It's the spell in the Antiquity section, beginning "But if a man wants to know how to live ...". SlimVirgin (talk) 18:02, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
No problem, after obtaining the paper I can help you transcribing it with Gardiner's sign list and the Manuel de Codage. Khruner (talk) 19:10, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
That would be great, thanks! SlimVirgin (talk) 19:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Khruner, HHill has sent me a copy of this, and gave me permission to forward it to you, so drop me an email if you'd like to see it. I don't know whether I've reproduced the heiroglyphic text properly, but it was great fun trying! See here. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:14, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
SlimVirgin I thought you needed a transcript of all the passage, I see now I had misunderstood. For the paper no problem, I don't need it in the immediate future and in case, I can find it in my university. See you around..! Khruner (talk) 23:39, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi Khruner, ideally I'd love to post the whole spell in heiroglyphs, if it's not too much work. At least I would like to reproduce the heiroglyphs that may mean "uncircumcised girl," so if you (or others) can help with either of those things that would be great. I've tried to post "uncircumcised girl" ('m't):

but I'm not sure I've done it correctly. D42 (the first and third) doesn't look exactly the same as the heiroglyph in the article, but I can't find anything closer. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:21, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

To Do List[edit]

At the top of the page appears the To Do List. This was based on some off-hand comments I made back in the early days of Wikipedia (i.e. 2005), & may no longer be applicable. I would not be offended if someone were to revise it & replace some or all of the suggestions with new & more relevant ones. -- llywrch (talk) 23:20, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I gathered as much, but I don't know what items I would add to the list in place of the old ones. Most of the articles we need already exist now, so it's mostly a matter of improving those we have. Chronology is still an issue, and I did once try to standardize it. But that didn't work so well, and, for reasons you have stated yourself, all the chronologies found in the sources seem to have visible defects. The most active project members right now all seem to have individual priorities: Nephiliskos and Iry-Hor mainly dealing with lesser-known pharaohs, me with my endless list of religion articles to rewrite, and Dougweller putting out fires lit by fringe theorists and copyright-violators. I commend their efforts, of course, but I don't know if there's any major project we're suited to collaborate on, given our rather different interests and expertise. A. Parrot (talk) 00:32, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, if you're right then there's no need to have that list at the top any more. Every time I happen on this page, I feel a little embarrassed to see my words up there. (Yes, I can be less arrogant than I might appear.)
As for chronology, may I suggest one strategy which you've already begun the first few steps? I've adopted it in rewriting the articles dealing with the Empire of Trebizond, & revising the list in Eponymous archon:
  1. Identify a reliable general reference that is widely accepted, & revise all of the articles in accordance with that. In the case of the Trebizond Empire, that work was William Miller's 1926 history. There are a number of issues with it -- more recent research has not only expanded our knowledge, it has shown his account to have mistakes; his approach is primarily one of courts & battlefields, while contemporary historians look more at cultural & social evolution; Miller reveals a number of ethnic & cultural biases -- but it is the one that appears in the notes & bibliography time & again.
  2. Sift thru the secondary literature, starting with works published since then. This is easy to do if you have access to something like JSTOR (which not only provides access to Journal of Near Eastern Studies & American Journal of Archeology, but to even specialized periodicals like Journal of Egyptian Archeology.) You won't find every work you need, but the relevant articles will contain leads to the ones you might want -- & help you get them thru ILL. And don't forget to look at & at the German equivalent. If you can't read French or German, Bing has an online translation tool that will help you read most of what's in the original.

    In the case of the list of Athenian archons, there is no one general reference for all of them, from 681 BC to AD 484; there are some that cover parts of the list, & I have had to integrate secondary sources, contradictions & all, & trust that ignore all rules will help avoid inadvertent instances of original research. And besides, where the expert opinion is still in flux, a new article will doubtless be published & allow those passages to be revised away to my relief.

  3. Never be afraid to resort to presenting differing opinions, or admit the existence of contradictions concerning a matter. Sometimes I sense that we Wikipedians expect only one version must be be the correct one, when even the experts are divided & forced to accept two or more possibilities as equally valid. (And I'll admit here that I've stumbled on new material that suggests the Sothic Cycle as a tool for dating events might, indeed, be viable.) -- llywrch (talk) 06:03, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Hello everyone, although A. Parrot is right that we have differing interests and expertise, I think we can still work loosely together on some subjects. To start this, I propose that we add a list of desired articles / work-needed articles somewhere. I am also interested in updating the chronology and would be happy to participate to it. However there is a big difference with the Empire of Trebizon etc. since the Egyptian chronology covers over 3200 years very far back in time with all the uncertainties that this entails, and I am not talking about the intermediate Periods where educated-guesses seems to be the rule for egyptologists. For this reason I don't think that there is a widely accepted reference for the 3200 years time span and every existing chronology has its pitfalls. Even things that seem secure are not: e.g. the Sothic Cycle datations strongly depends on whether the observations were made in Memphis or Thebes, and egyptologists are still debating the two possibilities. Instead, I agree with the beginning of point 3) of Llywrch, we should include in articles on time periods (e.g. the Early Dynastic Period, the Old Kingdom etc.) the various possible datations as well as in article on pharaohs. Only then will we be able to update Egyptian chronology, which propose only 2 datations for now, some of which can already be ruled out due to more recent scholarship. Iry-Hor (talk) 06:57, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Some kind of "article wish list", maybe...? Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 07:59, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, there are a few articles we still need. Our project suffers from a named topic bias; the articles we lack are mostly general topics without specific names. Economy of ancient Egypt, for example, is still red, though we do have ancient Egyptian trade. Then there are religious subjects I hope to tackle someday: ancient Egyptian afterlife beliefs (currently a redirect), priests in ancient Egypt, ritual in ancient Egypt, offerings in ancient Egypt, ancient Egyptian festivals, popular religion in ancient Egypt, animal cults in ancient Egypt, oracles in ancient Egypt, hymns in ancient Egypt, and possibly prayer in ancient Egypt (although, depending on how sources cover it, prayers might not need to be a separate subject from popular religion). Any other suggestions? A. Parrot (talk) 18:05, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Fascinating, the named topic bias. I had never noticed it but reading about it, it becomes obvious! Perhaps then we could have a State Development in Predynastic Egypt, which has tons and tons of sources, or Organization of the Ancient Egyptian State which could clarify the administrative relations between pharaohs, viziers, nomarchs, town governors, tax collectors, priests etc... Iry-Hor (talk) 20:19, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
In the latter one we could perfectly describe and explain the hierarchy of Ancient Egypt, beginning with the Predynastic Period, continuing with the Old Kingdom and so on. That gonna be bitchin'... I was thinking about themes such as Predynastic hunting, Kleinkönig (Egypt), Predynastic marine (egypt) and Handicaps in Ancient Egypt. Regards;--Nephiliskos (talk) 21:08, 22 August 2014 (UTC)


Hi WikiProject Ancient Egypt, please see my comment at Talk:Hieratic#Confusing_definition_and_interrelation_with_cursive_hieroglyphics.

The Hieratic article represents an important topic, but its revision history suggests it has had very little focus. If anyone here has a good understanding of the subject, I'd be grateful for the help. Thanks. Oncenawhile (talk) 18:01, 27 August 2014 (UTC)