Neith was an early Egyptian deity who was said to be the first and main creator. She is said to be the creator of the universe and everything it contains, and she controls the way it functions. She was the goddess of wisdom, weaving, space, mothers, rivers, water, childbirth, hunting, war and fate. She was a warlike goddess.
Neith is the goddess of war and the hunt, and her symbol was two arrows crossed over a shield. However, she is a much more complex goddess than is commonly known, and whose ancient texts only hint at her true nature. Religious silence was prescribed by the ancient Egyptians to maintain secrecy, using euphemisms and allusions and often relying only on symbols. In her usual representations, she is depicted as a ferocious deity, a woman in a Red Crown, sometimes holding or using a bow and arrow, and in others a harpoon.
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Egyptian main description
Egyptian hieroglyphics are arguably one of the most famous examples of symbolism across history. Created by the ancient Egyptians, this served as their formal writing system. Hieroglyphics can be dated back to the 32nd century BC, and perhaps even earlier. Evidence demonstrates that this writing system continued into the Roman period of the 4th century AD. However, much of the knowledge of hieroglyphics and their meanings were lost after the end of pagan temples in the 5th century. There was no existing knowledge of what these symbols meant, how they were meant to be read and their significance.
Hieroglyphics were decoded in the 1820s with the aid of the Rosetta Stone by Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion. These symbols are not just phonetic sounds or symbols. In fact, they are a combination of different elements. As Jean-François Champollion discovered, hieroglyphics are a “complex system” that encompasses “figurative, symbolic, and phonetic all at once.” For many Egyptians, this form of writing was seen as the “words of God” and thus used by priests.
Generally, hieroglyphics in cursive form were used for religious texts and engraved into wood or written on papyrus. They are written in rows or columns and can be read either left to right or right to left. The direction can be established by seeing which way the human or animal figure faces at the beginning of the line.