Skip to content


November 16, 2017

The written language is one of the most important inventions of the mankind. The non-written ways of communication (voice, movement, mimicry and other) are momentary and transitory, and they connote the degree of intimacy and relationship. The written language wiped all the barriers in the time and space and made the spoken word of the humanity long-lived, evenlonger, than the human’s own life and allowed it to burst out of the man’s living spacedimensions.
This in its turn allowed to collect and summarize the experience of the people livingon an immense distance from each other and to create a common spiritual-cultural living space,which is an important pre-condition for the formation of a nation. In the scientific world nowadays prevails the idea, that the most ancient writing systems of the world are the Sumerianand the Egyptian hieroglyphs created in ca. 3300-3200 B.C.2.
On the other hand the basic and yet unsolved question of the ancient history is the originof the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations. The Sumerian civilization counts back till the middleof the 6th millennium B.C. (the Ubaid period), while the Egyptian one starts from the end of the 6th millennium B.C (Badari, Mermide, Fayum).
The founders of these civilizations brought developed cattle-breeding and agriculture with them to the Mesopotamia and to the valley of the Nile, as well as architecture, handicraft, mythology and a writing language. Archaeological evidence states that before the 6th millennium B.C. the development stages of that culture were not present in the Mesopotamia and the valley of the Nile. The questions formulated in the scientific world as “who were the initiators of that culture and where was their homeland?” are still open. As early as in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th
centuries some opinions suggested that the founders of the Sumerian and the Egyptian civilizations had come from the Armenian Highland. 
This previously weakly supported point of view presently has got undeniable archaeological bases. Archaeological digs of the latest decades on the territory of historical Armenia provides for a developed united culture capable of building temples and using agriculture in the 12-7th millennia B.C. in the upper currents of  Tigris and Euphrates.
The most ancient by its origin and complete archaeological material of the historical Armenia are the renowned pictograms. The pictograms of the Armenian Highland do not have a parallel in terms of their vast quantity, the technique applied, the variety of the signs and diversity of the images. At the same time, some peculiarities of the Armenian pictograms suggest that the pictogram signs were used as a written language, whereas complete compositions possessed spiritual and ceremonial meaning.
Unfortunately, the correlation between the Armenian pictograms and the ancient writing systems has not been studied thoroughly as of yet. This study is designed to partially fill that void.
Many of the scholars researching pictograms (Kh. Samuelyan, G. Ghapantsyan, L.B arseghyan and other) have expressed the opinion that pictograms are the initial variant of the written language. But the pictograms were initially and definitely perceived by the Armenian  people as a writing system and according to that perception people called them a “goat-writing”.At first glance one might think that the term “goat-writing” occurred because of a huge number of goats among the pictograms and the overwhelming majority of scholars that studied them also reached that conclusion. However, the name of “goat-writing” in and of itself is actually much older and comes from the unmemorable times, when pictograms were being engraved and the writing system was being newly created. The basic reason of the name of “goat-writing” is that the concepts of “goat” and ”writing” initially had had homonymous names.

The pairs for those homonymous names are present in Armenian, Sumerian and Egyptian languages. Thus, Mašdara =”wild goat” and “registration” (Sumerian),Sr, zr =”a ram, a billy-goat, aries” and “to write” (Egyptian).The concept of “Sumerian language” is expressed by the “emegir” word, whereas the same word with the “udu” index (udu emegir) means a “species of a goat”. In Sumerian the word “to write” sounded “sar” which is identical to the Egyptian sr, zr = “to write”, which have the following Armenian corresponding analogues:“ šar” =”a row, a range, a group”,“sarel” = “to compile, to bind, to tie,” şir”=”a line, a circle, an order, a furrow”, from which derives “ şrel = to write” *.

In the picture-conceptual writing system the Armenian words mentioned above are homonymous to the Armenian zar = “goat, ram”. Hence the abstract “ šar, sar, şir” concepts could find their sound reflection in the pictogram of zar = “goat”.

Besides, there are other homonymous names in Armenian language for the concepts of “writing” and “goat”. Khaz =“goat” and khaz = “writing” are homonyms in Armenian. In written “grabar”- classical Armenian texts (written using Mashtotsian alphabet) the word “khaz” means “line,” “scratch,” “writing” issued more frequently and at the same time it is a collective name for the ancient Armenian music signs “khazer” ( “-er” – ending expressing plural number in Armenian). “Khaz” in Armenian means also a “male goat” (“khzan” – plural)**.
One should think that all the names for “writing” initially have had only the meaning of a “goat”. During the process of engraving a goat to express a certain idea the meaning of “writing” was attached to some names of “goat”. This is proved also by ethnographic material. The identity of goat = writing is expressed most vividly and briefly in Armenian riddles. For example:
“A white garden and black goats”. (Karabakh)2.
“Black goat pastures on the white field”. (Vagharshapat,Van, Dovri)3.
“White side with the black goats greasing on it”. (Alashkert, Artsakh)4.
“White mountains and black-black goats”. (Karabakh)
“Black goats and white hills (gorgeous) with plenty of bees” (Khotrjour)
“Every shepherd shouldn’t carry goats”. (Kesaria, Kharberd). In the mentioned riddles goat bears the meaning of the “writing”. It is worth mentioning also that such examples cover the whole territory of the historical Armenia. 2. In the initial stage of creation of a writing system before the concepts of “writing” and “to write” were finally formed the act of writing could be expressed by arranging, binding, compiling, scratching and drawing the images. It could be supposed that the Sumerian word “sar” and the Egyptian words “sr, zr” standing for the word “writing” initially had the meaning of words šarel, sarel, şrel – “to arrange, to compile, to draw”. It is necessary to study the homonyms of the Sumerian word “sir” and the Egyptian words “sr, zr” in order to prove if this hypothesis is trustworthy. This author will also present his study on the Sumerian samples in another paper. The homonyms of the Egyptian words “sr, zr” and corresponding Armenian pairs are mentioned in the table below. Another important aspect that needs to be noted is that the Egyptian writing system is based on consonants.
As we can see, the Armenian pairs of this group of the Egyptian homonyms are also consonant homonyms. This group of the Armenian and the Egyptian identical homonyms lays the ground to state that in the Egyptian and the early Armenian languages the meaning of the word “to write” was expressed by the same word.3. Even a brief study of the pictograms shows that, unlike hieroglyphs, pictograms were created with the aim of conveying a certain target message through arranging images in a definite order. The most popular way of arranging the images was putting them in a linear row one after another (see picture 1).
The images were arranged in a line both horizontally and vertically (see picture 2). There are also some cases of a circular, spiral and arrow-shaped grouping of the images. We consider that the way of arranging the images depended on the conceptual perception (among the people) of  the message being conveyed.
4. Finally, the opinion that the pictograms were an initial writing system is supported by the fact, that a large number of abstract signs were used alongside with the images of animals and people (see pic.1, 2). There are about 200 abstract signs among 802 compositional groups of pictograms in Ukhtasar and Djermadzor.
See more here:

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: