VEN (CAIRO) — Never one to avoid a controversy, maverick MIT Linguistics Professor Juan McDaniels has turned traditional Egyptology on its head once again, this time by challenging the entire foundation of hieroglyphics!
According to Professor McDaniels, the 1000 or so symbols that comprise Egyptian hieroglyphs (sacred carvings in Greek) were not part of a proto-literate symbol system from the Bronze Age — as Egyptologists have long believed — but just the opposite!
Professor McDaniels argues that hieroglyphs actually replaced a much earlier sophisticated alphabet that gradually fell into disuse as more and more Egyptians became dyslexic between 3200 and 3000 BC, when phonics was replaced by sight words in Egyptian elementary schools, and instead of learning how to pronounce words, students were forced to memorize The Pharaoh’s Words List.
“The part of the Rosetta Stone that’s missing,” Professor McDaniels told VEN, “is the part that maps the hieroglyphs back to the original Egyptian alphabet.
“Look, if you can’t pronounce a word and have to guess all the time, pretty soon you devolve into illiteracy and are forced to rely on pictures to convey broad, easily grasped concepts.
“It was really a dystopic situation. The priests who championed sight-reading also controlled the herbal medicines, and began prescribing “cures” for so-called “dyslexia” when children couldn’t remember all 200,000 words in the The Pharaoh’s Words List, and couldn’t read a simple sentence like “See Osiris. See Set. See Osiris run!
“The real reason that Akhenaten was so reviled by the priest class was that he revived phonics in the public schools. But that was very short-lived — no more than 17 or 18 years — and as soon as his reign ended the priests banned sub-lexical teaching, all the phonics text books were destroyed, and hieroglyphs were reintroduced.
“Pretty soon you went from a super-advanced civilization that mapped the heavens and built the pyramids, to a bunch of illiterate, proto-hipsters who typed nonsense words like totes awk on 3000-year-old typewriters, called each other “Keb” and “Kuk,” and made coffee filters out of papyrus scrolls they couldn’t read that explained how to build The Great Pyramid!”