Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1899-1900

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Archaeology, Hieroglyphic Studies, Etc.


by Mr. Grenfell and Mr. Hunt for the University of California, revealed a
town reaching back to the Xllth Dynasty. Its Greek namelwas [found to
be Tebtunis.

Writing and Language.

Sethe, Das Aegyptische Verhvm in Altaegyptischen, Neuaegyptischen
und Koptinclien. This is one of the most important works that has ever
appeared in any branch of Egyptian philology. It forms at present two
large volumes, but a third volume, containing the indices, is to appear
later. This long expected work by one who is still a young scholar,—
though well known to be the best Egyptian philologist that has appeared
since Prof. Erman made his debut in 1875,—is a complete Thesaurus of
verbal forms, so far as the very liberal selection of texts consulted by him
goes. The classification both of the roots and of the conjugational forms
agrees to a great extent with that in Erman's little Egyptian Grammar, a
work which in spite of the difficulties inherent in the subject, and of
drawbacks in the arrangement, is a marvel of philological insight. But
Sethe has succeeded in improving the classification considerably,
discovering new forms and redistributing old ones. The Egyptian verbal
forms elude any but the most careful search owing to their vocalization
not being marked in the writing. A strong trilateral root is the most
immutable thing in hieroglyphs: it is of little use to examine its
inscrutable features. But a root belonging e.g. to the class of tertiaa
infirmae, obscure though it be, is apt to betray some secrets. The roots
with a weak radical generally lose or begin to lose this weak radical
at some period during the course of their history, and this phenomenon
introduces grave complications. Sethe has followed out the history of a
multitude of such roots, and by his insight into the language and firm
grasp of it he seems to have attained almost to finality in his classification.
Fairly complete lists of roots belonging to the different classes are given
in the first volume, and the verbal forms and their employment in the
second. A considerable proportion of the bulk is of course due to Setlie's
having to establish principles by argument; and nearly 200 pages of the
first volume are occupied with general considerations of Egyptian
phonology, the values and interchanges of the alphabetic signs in
Egyptian words, etc.

Erman had already pointed out the correspondence of the "pseudo-
participle " to the Semitic perfect. Now, Sethe has shown that whereas
in the roots of the verbs biliterals preponderate in late times this was due
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