Bowstring (hieroglyph)

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in hieroglyphs

The ancient Egyptian Bowstring hieroglyph is an Egyptian language hieroglyph associated with the bow, and its use as a hieroglyph for the Archer hieroglyph, a symbol for 'army'. Because of the strength required to "string a bow", with a bow string, the bowstring hieroglyph is used to define words of strength, hardness, durability, etc.

Language usage of bow string[edit]

The hieroglyphic language equivalent of the bowstring is "rwdj", and means "hard, strong, durable".

Rosetta Stone usage[edit]

(from right-to-left), last line-(Ros. 14), "...decree, this, upon, a tablet, (=stele), of-(water ripple (hieroglyph), stone, hard (bowstring), in the writing of hieroglyphs, next, writing of books-(Demotic), lastly, ...."

In the 196 BC Rosetta Stone, the bowstring hieroglyph has the unique usage in the final line, (Rosetta line 14), of the Ptolemy V decree, concerning the writing of the three scripts: the bowstring, as the word hard-(roodj) is used to describe the durability of the stone-stela:

... "Shall be engraved decree this upon a vertical-(mast (hieroglyph)) tablet-(stele) of stone hard -(durable) the 2-language, 3-scripts, .."Shall be made to stand it in the sanctuaries in temples all..."[1]

Pharaoh Rudamun's name[edit]

23rd Dynasty rock crystal vase of Pharaoh Rudamun.

Pharaoh Rudamun of the 23rd Dynasty, 757-54 BC has his name in two cartouches showing the use of the bowstring hieroglyph, (only one uses the bowstring). A white rock crystal vase has two cartouches above the hieroglyphic symbol for union symbol (hieroglyph). One cartouche uses the bowstring hieroglyph and states his name: "A-mn-Rudj–A-mn-Mer", and is approximately: "Amun's Strength—Amun's Beloved".


  1. ^ Budge, 1989, (1929). The Rosetta Stone, p. 168-169.