Townsite-city-region (hieroglyph)

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in hieroglyphs
Painted wall relief: note that the Ibis, Mut (hieroglyph), Mouth, Iat standart (hieroglyph), and Townsite, all have white paint.

The Ancient Egyptian Townsite-city-region (hieroglyph) is Gardiner sign listed no. O49 for the intersection of a town's streets. In some Egyptian hieroglyphs books it is called a City Plan.[1]

It is used in Egyptian hieroglyphs as a determinative in the names of town or city placenames. Also, as an ideogram in the Egyptian word "city", niwt.

From the photos in WikiCommons, can be seen the variety of styles of the "intersection-form" of the hieroglyph.

Origin and history[edit]

Betrò's modern Egyptian book, Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt uses the "crossroads", "intersection" hieroglyph with the name of City Plan. The oldest use of placenames is from the original cosmetic palettes of the early years of Ancient Egypt. The Narmer Palette has a bull with a broken-open fortress (hieroglyph) enclosure.
The Bull Palette contains two cities identified with internal iconographic hieroglyphs.

Betrò uses the Libyan Palette as her extensive explanation of the City Plan. The Libyan Palette contains seven cities, fortress-protected; the seven cities are identified inside an approximate–circular–enclosure with iconography, with some signs to become hieroglyphs, and similarly identified externally with the similar hieroglyphic iconography, also to be used as hieroglyphs. (see list: Libyan Palette)

Palermo Stone usage[edit]

In the 24th century BC (2392 to 2283 BC), the Palermo Stone uses the townsite hieroglyph in various places. For example, on the Palermo Piece-(obverse), 1-large piece of 2-large pieces of the 7-piece Palermo Stone, in Row III (of VI Rows), for Pharaoh, King Den, for "King Year Registers" 36 and 37. For King Year Register 37: "Year: Sailing trip to 'Sah-Setni' "-(top half), and (bottom half): "founding/destruction of the city of 'Wer-Ka' ('Ur-Ka')(='Great Spirit' )".

Fortress hieroglyph and the Nine Bows[edit]

(circular forms)
(for town or Nine bows cartouche)
(not showing abutments)
in hieroglyphs
Vertical plinth forms
(not Gardiner-listed)
(not showing abutments)
in hieroglyphs

The fortress (hieroglyph) iconography was still being used in Ramesses II's time to identify placenames of defeated locations, referring to the Nine bows. The fortress hieroglyph is shown in three non-Gardiner's sign listed forms-(all vertical); the category is Buildings and Parts of Buildings.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Betrò, 1995. Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, "City Plan", p. 190.
  2. ^ Schulz, Seidel, 1998. Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs, photo: Palermo Piece-(obverse), p. 24.
  3. ^ Budge, 1978, (1920) An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, "fortress", (no. 35, 36, 37), section: BUILDINGS AND PARTS OF BUILDINGS, p. cxxvii-cxxx
  • Betrò, 1995. Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, Betrò, Maria Carmela, c. 1995, 1996-(English), Abbeville Press Publishers, New York, London, Paris (hardcover, ISBN 0-7892-0232-8)
  • Budge. An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, E.A.Wallace Budge, (Dover Publications), c 1978, (c 1920), Dover edition, 1978. (In two volumes, 1314 pages.) (softcover, ISBN 0-486-23615-3)
  • Schulz, Seidel, 1998. Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs, Editors, Regine Schulz, Matthias Seidel, Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, English translation version, 538 pages. (hardcover, ISBN 3-89508-913-3)