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Beta Version - Last update: 07.07.2021


Marwan Kilani - Swiss National Science Foundation (Mobility Grant) - Freie Universität Berlin (2019-2021).

Where to find me: kilani.edu@gmail.com

What it is about

HathorBank is the first result of a 2 years PostDoctoral project reassessing the presence of words of Levantine orginis in Late Egyptian (Late Bronze Age). Several words of Levantine origins (especially Semitic, but not only) are known in Egyptian, and various publications listing them exist. However, these words have never been studied from a perspective that systematically investigates their linguistic history, and that explores the socio-cultural context(s) of their transfer and use(s).

Moreover, this very rich linguistic material (which e.g. includes the earliest attestations of several Semitic words) has often been presented in forms that targeted a primarily Egyptological audience, rather than being aimed at the wider linguistic community.

The HathorBank project takes these considerations into account, and builds on previous and current scholarship in order to further explore both the linguistic dimension of these words and what their presence in Egyptian can tell us about the interactions of the societies of the time.

This database constitutes the first output of this project, and its main aim is to make the primary data available. It will soon be followed by a publication that will tackle methodological issues, and which will provide a socio-historical analysis of these words and their spread.

As a start, my project has focused on a selection of 243 words that have been identified in previous scholarship as very likely Levantine loanwords (mostly categories 4 and 5 in the classification by Hoch 1994 Semitic Words in Egyptian Texts). Other words will hopefully be added in the future (and collaborations in this direction are very welcome).

The present database makes the primary data available and provides, for each word, a reconstruction of their vocalization (wherever possible), a general overview of the distribution of their attestations (across time, and across texts), and a punctual discussion of their relevant features.

The reconstruction of the vocalization is largely based on a combination of Coptic forms and cuneiform transcriptions of Egyptian words (where available) combined with the new reading of the so-called Group Writing published in Kilani, 2019, Vocalisation in Group Writing. A New Proposal - Lingua Aegyptia Studia Monographica . A short overview of the system and its basic rules is provided in the introduction of the book, which is Open Access and can be freely downloaded from this website:

Vocalisation in Group Writing. A New Proposal

What's new

HathorBank is an active project: new data and analyses are regularly added to the entries.
If you wish to be kept updated with the development of the project (in the form of an e-mail every few months summarizing what has been added or changed) please consider subscribing to the HathorBank mailing list, using the following link:

Subscribe to the HarhorBank mailing list

Technical Notes

The database is optimized for Firefox - other browsers may display the hieroglyphs in lines, not in quadrats.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

How to cite

Kilani Marwan, 2021, Madùwwe Project - HathorBank dataset

Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'AGRICULTURE'

Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Form' + 'LIKE' + Value = b

Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'AGRICULTURE'
+ OR + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'PLANTS'

Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'AGRICULTURE'
+ AND + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'PLANTS'

NOT + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'AGRICULTURE'
+ AND + NOT + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'PLANTS'

NOT + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Form' + 'LIKE' + Value = b
+ AND + NOT + ( + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'AGRICULTURE'
+ OR + Field = 'Egyptian Semantic Word - Semantic Field' + 'EXACT' + Value = 'PLANTS' + )

Structure of the Results

The results are structured into several sections each with different types of data.

Variants and possible alternative forms and phonemes are marked with ¦ . So e.g. ʔ¦y means either ʔ or y.

Entries are organized hierarchically, going from the more general to the more specific. In particular, each record is organized as follow:

─────────> Egyptian Root according to Kilani
    └─────> Related Coptic Forms (if present)
    └─────> Related Demotic Forms (if present)
    └─────> Related Levantine Forms
    └─────> Related Egyptian Forms
            └─────> Overview Attestations of by Period
                    └─────> Attestations
            └─────> Overview Attestations of by Grammatical Form
                    └─────> Overview Attestations of by Period
                                └─────> Attestations

Most of the data provided in these sections are rather straightforward and intuitive. Some, however, need some additional clarification.

Section 1: Item - Basis

Root section for each item.

ID Kilani: Unique ID of the item in the present database.

Root: Prototypical consonantal root reconstructed for the item at the highest level. Consonants are separated by dots [.] .

Meaning: Reconstructed Meaning.

Coptic Forms

Section collecting the related Coptic Forms, if any is present. The section is structured as follow:

─────────> Coptic Consonantal Prototype/Root
    └─────> Coptic Word - General Form
            └─────> Dialectal Forms

The "Word" level provides a prototypical form of the Coptic word based on Sahidic, on Bohairic if Sahidic is not attested, or on other dialects if neither Sahidic nor Bohairic are attested.

Finally, the "Form" level provides attestations of the word in the various dialects.

Besides the forms in Coptic script, a letter-by-letter transcription of the Coptic spelling is provided between < >, while a standardised semi-phonetic parsing is provided preceded by *. I define this parsing as semi-phonetic both because on the one hand there are still doubts about the actual value of some Coptic phonemes, and because in a few cases this transcription system is actually conceived not only to reflect the likely pronunciation, but also to convey information about the etymological origin (and historical form) of the multiple phones that may underlie a same single Coptic grapheme. In particular:

- Coptic ⲓ is transcribed as ī when deriving from an historical stressed vowel , as ī in Bohairic when deriving from an historical unstressed vowel, and as j in all other cases

- Coptic ⲟⲩ is transcribed as ū when deriving from an historical stressed vowel , and as w when deriving from a consonant.

- Coptic ⲁ is transcribed as a when deriving from an historical stressed vowel 'a, and as ă when deriving from a (pretonic) unstressed vowel.

- Macron are used with ī, ū and to distinguish between ⲟ/ⲱ and ⲉ/ⲏ, namely to transcribe stressed vowels that are assumed to derive from vowels that in Middle Egyptian appeared in open syllables, while Coptic vowels that are assumed to derive from Middle Egyptian stressed vowels in closed syllables are transcribed without macrons.

As such, macrons do not necessarily imply that the Coptic vowels were long. The question of the actual difference between these phonemes is still, at least to some extent, an open issue. The use of macros here should thus be understood only as a graphic devise to distinguish the phonemes underlying these graphemes, no matter what their actual realization was.

- Coptic reduplicated vowels -VV- are transcribed as .

Demotic Forms

Currently unavailable. It will possibly be developed in the future.

Levantine Forms

The section collecting the related Levantine forms is structured similarly to that of the Coptic section, namely:

─────────> Overview of the Levantine evidence
    └─────> Prototype(s) of the Levantine Form(s)
            └─────> Related Levantine Forms

The first part of this section provides general information about the prototypical consonantal root that can be assumed to underlie the attested forms, its meaning, and an overview of the language groups and specific languages in which related forms are attested.

Attestations of forms in the various languages are organized according to the prototypes to which they can be ascribed. Note that as mentioned above these 'prototypes' do not represent proto-forms in the phylogenetic sense. Rather, they represent the minimum common denominator to which various forms can be clustered together, taking into consideration the historical phonological developments in each language. Therefore, words belonging not only to different languages, but also to different language families, may be listed under a same single prototype, if their phonological structures match and can be interpreted as reflecting a same single pattern. Words clustered under a same prototype can thus be understood as potentially directly related, either phylogenetically or through borrowing, and in any case they can be understood as being more similar and thus closer to each other than to any other attested form.

Finally, forms for which the vocalization is not attested or cannot be confidently reconstructed are listed under independent prototypes that have the format †_XXX_nr .

Egyptian Forms

This section is the largest one. It is divided into two parts: an overview of the relevant forms is followed by two lists of the actual attestations organized first by the period of the attestations themselves, and by their grammatical forms.

The overview includes the following elements:

Line 1: ID, prototypical root, reconstruction of the vocalization corresponding to the period of the earliest attestation, meaning, ID of the corresponding entry (if any) in the database of the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae, and ID of the corresponding entry (if any) in the ThothBank database.

Line 2: Semantic fields to which the word can be ascribed. A full list of the semantic fields can be accessed through the search interface.

Line 3: Borrowing status in Late Egyptian, namely indicating if the word is likely a loanword, a foreignism. For the description of this frame and the related terms, see Kilani 2019, "On the Vocalization of Semitic Words". The criteria for the ascription of a word to one or the other category will be added in the coming months.

Line 5-8: Chronological distribution of the attestations.

The periodization is based on Kilani 2019, "Vocalization in Group Writing", namely:

P1 = 18th Dynasty ; P1-19 Dyn. = Early 19th Dynasty up to Ramses II included ; P2 = 19th Dynasty after Ramses II and 20th Dynasty until Ramses XI ; P3 = 21st and 22nd Dynasty ; P4 = after 22nd Dynasty ; 19 Dyn. = 19th Dynasty but unspecified ; Undated = date unclear, but New Kingdom.

Tokens are counted in three different ways, namely:

Nr. Attestations: total number of single attestations of the word.
Nr. Manuscripts: total number of manuscripts/documents in which the word is attested. Manuscripts/documents in which the word is attested more than once are counted only one time each.
Nr. Texts: total number of distinct texts in which the word is attest. Attestations in different copies/manuscripts of the same text, and multiple attestations of the same word in a same text, are counted only once.

Line 9-13: Notes and discussions about several aspects of the entry.

Attestations Organized by Period Form

This subsection presents the attestations of the word organized by first by Period, and then by Grammatical Form.

Each attestation consists of:

ID of the attestation ; hieroglyphic form ; Transcription according to Kilani 2019 "Vocalisation in Group Writing" ; Normalization according to Kilani 2019 "Vocalisation in Group Writing" ; Reconstructed vocalization ; Meaning ;
Date of the attestation ; Context in the text in which the word appears ;
Text in which the word is attested ; Type of text ;
Manuscript ; Passage of the manuscript ;

Attestations Organized by Grammatical Form

In this subsection the attestations are organized first by Grammatical Form, and then by Period of attestation.

Each attestation consists of the same data as in the previous subsection.