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Emoglyphs: Picture-Writing from Hieroglyphs to the Emoji

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian With contributions by Orly Goldwasser, Daphna Ben-Tor, Carlo Rindi-Nuzzolo, and Stefan Jakob Wimmer

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Although deciphered 200 years ago with the help of the Rosetta Stone, hieroglyphic script remains something of a mystery for the public at large. With the revolution of the smartphone, however, we have all become privy to the idea of pictorial script. This includes symbols standing for concrete objects (such as an eye, a dog, a chair), as well as “classifiers” representing a category or conveying contextual information (such as our simley or winking face), without which it would have been virtually impossible to write anything in ancient Egypt. Replete with photographs – including exquisite blow-ups – which bring the archaeological finds to life, this exhibition catalogue presents the underlying principles of the hieroglyphic writing system while highlighting the fact that, then as now, picture-writing is not only a means of communication but also means of artistic and ideological expression. In addition to thematic articles followed by catalogue entries, the book presents a delightful system of “emoglyphs” integrating hieroglyphic script with emoji.

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