'Sinai: The Origin of the Alphabet' exhibit on display at Egyptian Museum

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 26 Apr 2016

A temporary exhibit on early alphabetic inscriptions in Egypt was inaugurated last night in celebration of Sinai Liberation Day

El-Enany, Morin and Eldamaty (Courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany and the head of a Bonn University delegation, Lodwing Morin, inaugurated a six-month-long exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo entitled ‘Sinai: The Origin of the Alphabet’ on Egypt’s early alphabetic inscriptions.

The exhibition, organised in collaboration with Bonn University, relates the history and development of the alphabet in southern Sinai.

Goddess Hathor (courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

Sabah Abdel-Razek, undersecretary of the Egyptian Museum for archaeological affairs, told Ahram Online that the exhibition displays early inscriptions that show the development of alphabetic writing in southwestern Sinai during the early second millennium BC, as well as a collection of 40 statues of deities and stelae in direct connection with Sinai.

During the inauguration ceremony, El-Enany told reporters that he was keen to open such an exhibition during Sinai Liberation Day, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of Sir Alain Gardiner’s brilliant deciphering of the Sinai scripts, which at first glance look like mere hieroglyphs.

El-Enany said that the scripts were of global importance and continue to have a direct impact on our modern languages; from Arabic to Latin and English scripts.

Stelae inscribed (courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)

Morin described the exhibition as a great challenge, saying that it was meant to open in September, but El-Enany, the supervisor-general of the museum at the time, insisted on opening it during Egypt’s celebration of Sinai Liberation Day, which reflects the tremendous efforts exerted by the team working on the project.

Among the attendees were former minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty, former Fayoum governor Hazem Ateya, as well as top officials from the Ministry of Antiquities.


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