Mast (hieroglyph)

hieroglyph #2 Egyptian hieroglyphs Ship's Mast Egyptian hieroglyphs

The ancient Egyptian Mast hieroglyph is one of the oldest language hieroglyphs from Ancient Egypt. It is used on a famous label of Pharaoh Den of the First dynasty, but forms part of the location hieroglyph: Emblem of the East.

Nectanebo II's obelisk uses the Mast hieroglyph when describing the construction of his obelisk; in a S-Egyptian emphatic word construct he adds a vertical S, the folded cloth, Gardiner no. S29, , at the beginning of the word "to erect". (see here, high res: , low res: )

The Ship's Mast hieroglyph is used as a triliteral phonetic hieroglyphic to represent the sound sequence ꜥḥꜥ, which means "to stand erect", or "to stand vertical"; its use is extensive throughout the language history, and hieroglyphic tomb reliefs and story-telling of Ancient Egypt. It is possibly a forerunner hieroglyph kh3, the sun rising upon the horizon.

In the 198 BC Rosetta Stone, the ship's mast hieroglyph has the unique usage in the final line of the Ptolemy V decree: the mast is used twice-(adjective, verb):

engrave the decree..: "...upon a vertical-(mast) stone stele" the 3-language scripts, .."Shall be made to stand it in the sanctuaries in temples all..."
  • Ship's Mast on label of Pharaoh Den, 1st Dynasty

  • From right, hieroglyphs: sedge of the South, Papyrus clump with leaves of North-Nile Delta, wife-hieroglyph, the tree-hieroglyph, and the Ship's Mast hieroglyph

  • Cartouche amulet, with variant form of mast hieroglyph

  • Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: Palermo stone fragment

  • Nectanebo II obelisk, stating that he 'erected' the obelisk, (using the Mast-hieroglyph)

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