Obama Finds Hieroglyph That Looks Like Him

In case you all were wondering what the big-eared hieroglyph that Obama joked about today, saying that it looked like him means…The big-eared symbol represents the concept, "on account of."

It is pronounced like the word “hair” and is commonly spelled “her” by Egyptologists. The hieroglyph was spotted by President Obama in the ancient tomb of Qar when he quipped, “that looks like me!”

The hieroglyph often means  “because,” or “on account of.” It’s a standard sign, and even though it has been reported that the icon represented the priest/scholar/judge once buried within, it wasn’t intended to be the likeness of Qar himself.

UPDATE: I got a bunch of requests via facebook to show how Barach Obama’s name would appear in hieroglyphs…so just for fun, I looked it up. The cartouche below is read from right to left. The bowl over the striped towl looking symbol is an informal hieroglyphic combination that means roughly, “Leader of the Land.” The rest of the symbols represent the individual letters of Barack Obama’s name, with ck being represented by a single symbol (the circle with lines running through it).

From right to left: "Leader of the Land", B-A-R-A-CK O-B-A-M-A.

From right to left: "Leader of the Land", B-A-R-A-CK O-B-A-M-A.

  2 comments for “Obama Finds Hieroglyph That Looks Like Him

  1. June 11, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Ancient Egyptian was written without vowels. So you can leave out all the vultures you used to represent ‘a’. Also, if you’re writing from right to left, you need to flip the hieroglyphs so the animals face to the right.

    Not that I’m an Egyptologist or anything…

  2. Misha Houser
    June 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

    While it’s true that hieroglyphs get flipped when chiseled in stone, that is rarely true on papyrus. It had to do with artistic symmetry and a concept about facing an entrance.

    Vowels were used in the writing of names and formal titles especially when the vowels define the name, as in Obama.

    If they had no use for vowels, the Egyptians wouldn’t have invented the vowel representative hieroglyphs.

    I’m not an Egyptologist either, however I’ve been a student of Egyptian history for many years. There is an excellent Egyptology society here in Orange County (affiliated with the Bowers Museum and OC Public Libraries) as well as various Egyptophilic organizations throughout Southern California where you can learn more from folks who are far more expert than I.

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