Publication details [#5233]

Goldwasser, Orly. 1992. The Narmer palette and the "triumph of metaphor". Zeitschrift für Semiotik 2 : 67–85. 19 pp.
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Article in journal
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The cognitive faculties and tools involved in the invention of Egyptian writing are investigated in a study of early dynastic ceremonial slate palettes, with focus on the three registers distinguishable on the recto side of the Narmer palette. This complex is characterized as the first attestation of a semiotic codification system, based on a balanced triad of picture, emblem, and phonetic sign, that endured throughout Egyptian civilization. The view that the palette represents a transitional or developmental stage is rejected, as the cognitive faculty of metaphorizing, seen here in multiple layers from phonetic to conceptual, became the leading principle of the Egyptian intellectual journey. It is proposed that the application of metaphor at different levels provided the basis for the creation of the hieroglyphic system and that, through message repetition, metaphor became dominant over reality in Egyptian thought. (Copyright 1994, Sociological Abstracts, Inc., all rights reserved.) (LLBA 1994, vol. 28, n. 2)