The major deciphering of the Rosetta Stone hieroglyphs was done by Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832). He realized that some of the signs were alphabetic, some were syllabic, and some were determinatives (signs that etermined how the preceding glyphs should be interpreted). Realizing that the hieroglyphs often functioned as phonograms and not simply pictographs, Champollion was able to sound out the name of Ptolemy. This breakthrough happened in 1822, after Champollion was given a copy of an inscription on an obelisk, a tall, geometric totemlike Egyptian monument. As Champollion studied its hieroglyphs, he was surprised to see the cartouche of Ptolemy, which he had deciphered earlier. Champollion assigned sounds to the three glyphs found in both words: those of p, o, and l. Then he patiently sounded out the others until he had a dozen hieroglyphic translations (Fig. 1–24). Armed with this new knowledge, he proceeded to decipher the cartouche for Alexander the Great.

罗塞塔石上的象形字大部分被让·弗朗西斯·尚博良所破译,他认识到有些符号是按照字母次序的,有些是音节的、有些是决定性的(能够确定以前的符号是如何解释的符号),尚博良意识到象形文字常常作为形声字并不是简单的象形文字,他能读出托勒密的名字 ,这一突破发生在1822年,之后他得到一块石塔碑文的复制品、一个高大的、几何的埃及纪念碑。当他研究了它的石碑,他惊奇的发现了托勒密的漩涡花饰,而这就是他在此之前破译出来的。商博良分配声音在两个词发现三个字形:P,O,和L。然后,他耐心的读出其他的文字直到他翻译出十几个象形文字(图1-24)。基于这个新的知识,他开始破译了亚历山大大帝的涡卷装饰。

Champollion gathered all the cartouches he could find from the Greco-Roman era and quickly translated eighty, building a large vocabulary of glyphs in the process.After his death at age forty-two, Champollion’s Egyptian Dictionary and Egyptian Grammar were both published. His progress toward translating hieroglyphics enabled other nineteenth-century Egyptologists to unlock the mysteries of Egyptian history and culture silently preserved in hieroglyphics.


Hieroglyphics consisted of pictograms that depicted objects or beings. These were combined to designate actual ideas,phonograms denoting sounds, and determinatives identifying categories. When the early Egyptian scribes were confronted with words difficult to express in visual form, they devised a rebus, using pictures for sounds, to write the desired word (Fig. 1–25). (The American designer Paul Rand [1914–96] cleverly utilized the rebus system in his 1981 IBM poster [see Fig. 20-18].) At the same time they designated a pictorial symbol for every consonant sound and combination of consonants in their speech.

Hieroglyphics① (N-PLURAL) (尤指古埃及的)象形字,象形符号 Hieroglyphics are symbols in the form of pictures which are used in some writing systems, for example those of ancient Egypt.

Designate 美 [ˈdɛzɪɡˌnet] 指明,指出; 指派; 表明,意味着; 把…定名为;
phonogram 表音符号,语音图,形声字; 音字标;
devised 设计; 发明; 策划; 想出;
rebus (以画代词语,尤其是名字的)画谜,组字画;

埃及象形文字包括所描述的物体或者人物的岩石壁画。这些组合共同表示确定的观点, 表音符号表示声音,确定性的(文字符号)鉴定类别。当早期的埃及学家都面临用言语难以在视觉形式表达出来,他们想出了一个图形符号,用图形来代表声音表示所需词语的含义 (图1-25)。 (美国设计师保罗·兰德[1914年至1996年]在1981年他的IBM海报巧妙地利用了画谜系统 [见图20-18]。)与此同时,在他的讲话中他为每个辅音以及辅音组合指定了一套图形符号。

Even though they never developed signs for the connecting sounds, combining the various glyphs produced a skeletal form for every word. By the time of the New Kingdom (1570–1085 bce) this remarkably efficient writing system had more than seven hundred hieroglyphs, over one hundred of which remained strictly visual pictographs or word-pictures. The remainder had become phonograms. Because the Egyptian language contained so many homonyms (such as, for example, a pool of water and the game of pool), determinatives were used after these words to ensure that the reader correctly interpreted them. Hinew, for example, could refer to a liquid measure or to neighbors. In the former case it was followed by the glyph for beer pot; in the latter by glyphs for a man and a woman. Presenting far more possibilities than cuneiform, hieroglyphics were used for historical and commercial documents, poetry, myths, and epics, and they addressed geography, science, astronomy, medicine, pharmacy, the concept of time, and other topics.

glyph a symbol carved out of stone, especially one from an ancient writing system 石雕符号;象形文字

phonogram 美 [‘foʊnəˌgræm] 表音符号
homonym 美 [ˈhɑmənɪm] 同形同音异义词

尽管他们从来没有发展为连接声音的符号,但他们结合不同的字形制作了每一个字骨架形式。到新王国时期(公元前1570至1085年)的时候这种非常有效的书写系统有超过七百个象形文字,其中有超过一百种保持严格的视觉象形文字或字图象。其余已成为形声字。由于埃及语包含许多同音字(例如,一个水池和水池的游戏),具有决定性的词根被这些词语使用后,以确保读者正确地解释它们。 例如,Hinew,可以指液量单位或者邻居。在前者的情况下,它在字形啤酒锅之后;后者由字形一个男人和一个女人组成。象形文字远比楔形文字呈现更多的可能性,多于历史和商业单据,诗歌,神话,史诗和象形文字,他们解决地理,科学,天文学,医学,药学,时间概念以及其他主题。

Ancient Egypt clearly represents the early phases of Western civilization as we know it today. Greek culture received much of its knowledge from the Egyptians. Our use of visual symbols originated with the Egyptians; from them we inherited the zodiac, the scales of justice, and the use of animals to represent concepts, cities, and people. In Greece,the owl symbolized Athena, and the image of an owl on a Greek coin indicates that it was minted in Athens. Today we have the American eagle, the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Gamecocks, and the dove symbolizing peace. Graphic designer and historian Lance Hidy writes, “Our cultural debt to the idolatry of pagan Egypt was largely expunged from history by Christian revisionists.”

正如我们今天所知道的古埃及显然代表了西方文明的早期阶段。希腊文化从埃及人那里得到了很多的知识。我们的视觉符号的使用起源于埃及人;从他们身上,我们继承了生肖,正义的天平,并利用动物来代表概念、城市和人民。在希腊猫头鹰象征着雅典娜,并在希腊硬币猫头鹰的形象表明它是在雅典铸造。 今天我们 有美国鹰,亚特兰大猎鹰队,卡罗来纳州雄斗鸡和鸽子象征和平。平面设计师 和历史学家兰斯·海迪写道“我们的文化债务异教徒埃及的偶像主要是从历史中抹去所基督教修正主义“。

The ancient Egyptians had an extraordinary sense of design and were sensitive to the decorative and textural qualities of their hieroglyphs. This monumental visible language system was ubiquitous(普遍存在的). Hieroglyphs were carved into stone as raised images or incised relief (Fig. 1–26), and color was often applied. These covered the interior and exterior of temples and tombs. Furniture, coffins, clothing, utensils, buildings, and jewelry all bore hieroglyphs with both decorative and inscriptional purposes. Frequently, magical and religious values were ascribed to certain hieroglyphs. The hieroglyph ankh, a cross surmounted by a loop (see Fig. 1–31), had modest origins as the symbol for a sandal strap. Due to phonetic similarity it gained meaning as a symbol for life and immortality and was widely used as a sacred emblem throughout the land.

ubiquitous 美 [juˈbɪkwɪtəs] adj.无所不在的; 普遍存在的;
ankh an object or design like a cross but with a loop instead of the top arm, sometimes worn as jewellery. The ankh was used in ancient Egypt as the symbol of life. 安可(顶部为环状结构的“十”字,古埃及用以象征生命)


The design flexibility of hieroglyphics was greatly increased by the choice of writing direction. One started from the direction in which the living creatures were facing. The lines could be written horizontally or vertically, so the designer of an artifact or manuscript had four choices: left to right horizontally; left to right in vertical columns; right to left horizontally; and right to left in vertical columns. Sometimes, as demonstrated in the schematic of the sarcophagus of Aspalta (Fig.1–27), these design possibilities were combined in one work

书写方向的选择大大提高了象形文字的设计灵活性。 一个从人面对的方向开始。 线条可以水平或垂直书写,因此工件或手稿的设计者有四种选择:从左到右水平; 在垂直列中从左到右; 从右到左水平; 垂直从右到左。 有时候,正如Aspalta石棺的示意图所示(图1-27),这些设计有结合在一件作品中的可能性。