1.1. Identification of the syllabic signs

Unlike the research by the Oriental Institute in Chicago, in our research of the demotic script we start from the fact: that it the syllabic script and we consider it sign by sign, i.e. syllable by syllable.

These are the basic characteristics of the script:

  • the direction of writing is form right to left;
  • there are no punctuation marks in today's sense;
  • there are no capital letters;
  • there is no division of words and use of blank space, it is written in an unbroken string;
  • the script used is the syllabic from the type consonant-vowel, with a minimal use of determined signs from pictographic writing.

The relatively wide range of the available text, of about 4500 signs, gives us an opportunity to identify the forms of the signs which are the basis of the script used. The most frequent ones are denoted

asymmetrical syllabic signs
symmetrical syllabic signs
inclined syllabic signs
specific syllabic sign
signs for isolated writing of consonants
signs for isolated writing of vowels

We also defined signs which are most probably the remains of some old pictographic script, and as such they represent a whole notion. Click here to proceed to the pictographic signs.

Especially intriguing is the method of writing the so-called ligatures, which according to us is a characteristic of the ancient Macedonian variation of this widely-used script in the given period of the Mediterranean - Asian civilization.