Sunday, February 1, 2009

Meroitic Inscriptions

I will attempt to read the broken tablet. First of all it is hard to make out some of the signs on this piece, especially parts of line three(3) and five (5), but I will attempt to read the piece. Reading the piece from right to left we have the following:


1. m...e-ne...ap. ...

2. [s]....mlo.. nea...š... ..

3. m...p....b.. .ye..... s

4. e.....q....b. ...p...nea. ...

5. [o]...lo... .ne...s.. .mš....


"...(1)The great Commander and ancestor.... (2)[prop up] the inner heart at this time (of) the King....(3) m entreat the Ba to travel (and) prop up...(4)Register the wish (of) the Ba to solicit at this time....(5)[ Begin] to dispatch Goodness and the good spirit (of) the son of Mash.....


ap, ancestor, father

m , great

e-ne, commander

e, register; vouchsafe; grant a boon

b, Ba

ml, spirit

mlo, innerheart, soul

s, son;to protect; to prop up

ye, to make; travel, voyage

nea, at this time;

ne, good

n-ne, Goodness

mš, Mash

lo, dispatch

o, begin

The so called word divider sign : equals -ne. The : is used to change verbs into nouns, or means good.

At the lion temple of Naqa, we find Natakamani on the left façade and Amanitore on the right. Under the feet of the ruling pair we find friezes of their defeated enemies.
There are a number of Meroitic hieroglyphics on the front of the Naqa Lion Temple. There are three columns of hieroglyphic inscriptions on under the falcon of King Natakamani. Reading from left to right we see the following

1. ter tel i ne
2. …ni-ne b-q r
3. ikh iy kh te b d r te
"1….the erection (of this structure) elevates (our) tradition [of building].2…brillian ce (is) also desired indeed.3…this spot bring Great light (and) also leave a legacy (of) unity." We can interpret the inscriptions and engraving from this part of the temple as follows:"King Natakamani smites the enemies of Meroe. The royalty "...[has made] the erection (of this structure) to elevate (as is our) tradition.2…Brillian ce (is) also indeed desired.3…This spot to bring Great light (to many and) also leave (to the Meroites) a legacy (of) unity."

Funerary Stela of Meteye
This Stela dates back to the 2nd to 3rd Centuries. It is has a reddish-white undercoat. It comes from Grave 275, Karanog. The stela is located in Cairo, Egyptian Museum JE40229.
The couple Meteye and Abakharta stand under the inner wings of the sun disk. Meteye wares her hair with a topknot and cornrows. This man may be either Meteye's husband or father. (I am uncertain because the words ab-a can be interpreted as `[her] father'.
If this is the correct reading aba Kharta would mean `her father Kharta'.)The grave was excavated by Woolley-Randall- MacIver at Karanog.
The skeleton in the grave was of a woman. The pointed breast on the figure indicate that she was a young women. Standing side by side suggest that this man was her husband. Since the grave contained only one skeleton we can imagine that Abakharta was depicted on this stela to show his devotion to his wife.There are three sets of inscription on this stela.
There are inscriptions in front of Meteye and Abakharta, and an inscription between the legs of Abakharta.Reading from right to left beginning with the inscription between the legs of Abakharta, then the inscription before Abakharta and finally the one in front of Meteye we have the following:Inscription between Abakharta's legs.
P .. š ….o …."Pray for the patron to commence……"
Inscription in front of the man:
Wosi .. ne. Sore… yi-ne. Abkharta… ke ….lo …..wi-ne... a…kh…m…še.."
Isis the Good. Osiris the eternal. Abakharta gives permission (for) the offering of this Object of Respect (Meteye) to acquire greatness (and) protection."
Inscription in front of the woman:
Woš..i-ne…šore.. yi-ne..Meteye… qo …wi…ato ….mh…ene… š.. o-a….tene
"Isis the good. Osiris the eternal. Meteye , renew (her) honor down the path (to) abundant alms giving. The patron [Meteye] has commenced the Rebirth".

Funerary stelae of Prince Tedeqen, circa 100-200 B.C.


Woš-i-ne …Tdeqen …ne …^h …ml …. ol … ho ….lk …tene …mlo …ne… p … rem … eš …. d …. o … tl … wi-ne … el …^h …tene ….ete …. eš …. d…. ot …. el … ^h … tene …^he …. ra …. Ke-ne-l ….l …d …tene.
[Oh] Good Isis (give) Tedeqen kha, grand inner heart (and) soul to behold the path of rebirth. The good inner heart prays to witness (its) manifestation. (This) bequeathal to open (and) elevate the Object of Respect (i.e., Tedeqen) gift (of the) Kha's rebirth (Oh Isis). You give the manifestation of the bequeathal prestige. The gift (of) the Kha's (and the) external body's rebirth . Indeed [Tedeqen] revitalization (will) be the rebirth of the bequeathal (of the Kha).

Offering Stela of Tablet of Tedeqen

Inscription under the gods:
[………] lo…. wi-ne ….šo ….tk ….te
"Dispatch (this) Object of Respect [Tedeqen] to live and to reflect (on good)—may (it go forth)."
Inscription on the funerary tablet reading from left to right and around the tablet :
Wosi …i-ne …a…. šore ….. yi-ne ….tedeqen ….qo-ne …ah ..d …s-ne-l …. d …h … lo-ne… me …n …tone …e ….ri-ne … …. li-ne …..e … ri …ke …lo… ne … atom … lo ….el … h …..tene ….al …ml …ol
"Isis the Good, Osiris the eternal. Tedeqen to live good (and) to acquire a lasting legacy (of Good). The patron's legacy (is for) the Kha's transmigration , measure the Good Rebirth (now). Give withdrawal (to the Kha) for revitalization (and) exaltation. Register the sendoff (of the Kha) to invigorate the good offering (of Tedeqen). He is to be (re)born to transmit Good (as his) gift (to mankind). The Kha's noble (re)birth (of a) grand soul."

The most interesting Meroitic text concerning Apedemak is found on the votive tablet of Tañyidamani which is now found in the Paris Museum.
On this votive tablet Tañyidamani is depicted on the obverse side , and the god Apedemak on the reverse side.On the reverse side of the Tañyidamani votive tablet the god Apedemak is depicted wearing a short apron and hemhem crown.
On this votive tablet Apedemak also wears armlets, bracelets, a collar and pectoral. Inside a panel in front of Apedemak we find a cursive Meroitic inscription.The inscriptions in the panel on the reverse side of the votive tablet of King Tañyidamani make it clear that the king acknowledged the important role the god Apedemak played in his life. These inscriptions can be read either from right to left or top to bottom.
Reading from right to left we read:
1. w e to2. q tel3. w to si4.tone m-k5. d.[l]..r-i6.te i
1. You (it is Apedemak who) gives guidance.2. Revitalize support (for me King Tañyidamani).3. You guide (me) to satisfaction.4. (And ) much reverence (for your patron).5. Give (it) amicably (to me).6. May (it go forth).
Reading this same inscription top to bottom we find the following:
1. w q b-to d-te.2. e te to m ne l.3. toe i skr-i.
1. (Oh Apedemak) Guide and Make Honor (for your patron).2. Give here your (full) measure of Good indeed. 3. (It is) thou (Apedemak who) give(s) leave to eminence (for your patron).

I have written a detailed grammar of Meroitic but it is being considered for publication so I can not give you a copy of this text.You can find out more about my decipherment at the following sites:
Below is a paper that explains my decipherment.
Below is a paper that discuss the origin of writing in Africa.

Is Meroitic related to Afro-Asiatic Languages?

Recently K. Rowan has discussed a theory that Meroitic may be related to the Afro Asiatic (AA) languages.

It is interesting, to note that Rowan discusses Meroitic within 6 pages, while the paper is 38 pages long. Rowan attempts to imply that a typological relationship exists between Meroitic and Afro-Asiatic due to alleged consonantal compatibility restrictions.

Although this is her opinion I don't believe that it is supported by the evidence, since she uses imagined Meroitic terms as her data. Since the terms Rowan uses in her analysis are "made up" she can say they have any feature she chooses and be "right".

Moreover, finding only one feature common to Meroitic and AA languages does not support a connection.The major problem with the thesis is that Rowan failed to discuss Meroitic based upon the agreed upon vocabulary of Meroitic. Failure to do this has led her to make conclusions that can not be supported by the evidence since some words she uses as examples in her paper are based on conjecture or are hypothectical/imagined Merotic terms.

Secondly, the failure to acknowledge that most Meroitic consonants are probably associated with a schwa, except when a Meroitic vowel is joined to a consonant e.g., -i.-e, - a, makes any discussion of Meroitic phonology suspect. Failure of K. Rowan to present examples from agreed upon Meroitic lexical items, especially given the clear Meroitic examples of Egyptian loan words in Meroitic is quite strange since Egyptian is a Meroitic languages.

This is further compounded by the fact that Rowan fails to provide a cognate language to read the script and therefore provide a firm foundation for her spurious conclusions.In general the paper is a good discussion of the state of research relating to Afro-Asiatic. But in my opinion it offers little support for the posibility that Meroitic is related to Afro-Asiatic, or Nilo-Saharan for that matter, given the phantom/imagined words Rowan provides as Meroitic lexical items.

Publication of this article, given its flaws make it clear that Rowan has a powerful advisor, given the fact that the abstract makes it clear that she is not providing any direction on a possible candidate for relatedness with Meroitic. Publication of this article adds little to the previous scholarship on Meroitic, eventhough its publication will probably make Rowan a new "expert" on Meroitic.

Amanishkheto Stela from Meroitic Civilation


nišheto qo-ne qo
n-ne he ñk e li-ne ml o
ps e o-ne a r-i te
k-ne a ine rm i l-ne t d b e šo
sli n0 tene q en ne-n
te ši-ne ht nk tone n h-ne
tek ……ok…….nm…..n h n om-ne
hl[e]…. O h p ne š m r
m ……. Te r h tl k-ne l tene
[………….. ……]
h ne m e ter h te m n š nel l
w-ne q š-ne l h mete o om-ne
sl lne tek nei h r tne š
k ñh d ne ate h te ši kne
r-ñ h ne-ñ kne ane e-m bo

Anishkheto noble and good restored
Manifest the external spirit now; command the transmittal of the sould to commence.
Give guard the accession (of the) apparition—may it go forth.
The Object of Supplication and Good [Anishkheto] goes to witnee [a new] existence. Arrange to leave a legacy [and] blessed life.
Leave to set in motion now the Rebirth. Act to command Good to manifest.
The propitiation to pour out. God ignites and manifest the abstract personality of man.
To investigate…….a new…..reverence and Good the offering’s only acquisition.
Reverberate…….initiate the offering a good pray[er] [for] the patron’s luck
m… …. ..te indeed the blessings to elevate the Object of Supplication’s rebirth.
[……….. ….. …. … …]
The abstract personality of man to unlock indeed the great holy place (of) good (to) merit existence
The Commander acts to uplift Greatness, unlock from a distance (its) acquisition.
Set in motion (her) existence to investigate benevolence (and) dignity. Lay Good (on) the patron.
It (is) obligatory at this time to leave a legacy at this moment dispensing (your) satisfaction.
Certainly her abstract personality of man to manifest the Object of Supplication’s spirit much favor (and) increase.

The inscription on the edge

e k p
k h
š ne nek e
[….. …… ]
[…. …… ..]
a šne
[… ….. …..]
[….. ….. ….]
[… ….. …. ..]
ñ l li
l d
b ene


“The blessed dead [Anishkheto] prays (for) nourishment (of) the obligatory offerings… merit……patron……retire exalted. (Her) lasting legacy is abundant almsgiving.”

Linguistic Support for Extra-Nubian Origin of Meroitic

There are many mysteries concerning the Meroites of the Meroitic civilization of Nubia and the Sudan. This ancient civilization lasted for hundreds of years and has left us many wonderful monuments. In addition to many grand monuments the Meroites left us a written language.

Although scholars have been able to read the letters of this ancient Kushite writing for many years up to now the full meaning of the Meroitic texts had alluded us.Today we can read the Meroitic text in their entirety using the cognate language for Meroitic: Tokharian (Winters 1984,1989, 1996a, 1996b,1996c).

Although linguist call this language Tokharian in Central Asia (Winters 1988b, 1991, 1996b).The people of Meroe, the Kushites had their own alphabet of 23 signs. This was a wonderful improvement over hieroglyphic writing which was made up of numerous ideographic and phonetic signs. Prior to the introduction of Meroitic, the Meroites used Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Francis Llewellyn Griffith, an Egyptologist was able to decipher the Meroitic script over 60 years ago. Although Griffith deciphered Meroitic, we were unable to read this writing because we did not know the cognate language.Using the comparative method I was able to discover that Tokharian is cognate to Meroitic. This led to the full decipherment of the Meroitic script. We can now read Meroitic using Tokharian ( Krause,1952 ; Windekens 1941, 1979).

Maurice Pope in THE STORY OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL DECIPHERMENT , has made it clear that before an unknown language can be deciphered you must have the right theoretical structure to base your inquiry upon (p.191).

Pope found that in the historical decipherments of ancient languages three preliminary conditions must be met:

1) confidence that a script can be deciphered;

2) location of proper names must be determined;

3) the grammatical rules of the target language/script must be found (pp.186-187).

We were able to read Meroitic because these preliminary conditions were met, and we were able to develop new hypothesis based on historical evidence to determine the cognate language of Meroitic. Conditions number one and two were met by Griffith when he deciphered the Meroitic script in 1910, and his discovery of the proper names of the Meroitic gods and individuals in Meroitic text.

Griffith also discovered the direction the Meroitic writing was written. This recognition by Griffith of the solubility of the Meroitic text was reinforced in 1978, with publication of UNESCO's The Peopling of Ancient Egypt and the Decipherment of the Meroitic Script. This was an important publication because it provided researchers with up-to-date information on the status of Meroitic.

Condition number three for the decipherment of Meroitic was met in 1979 when Fritz Hintze published his Beitrage zur meroitischen Grammatik . The research of F. Hintze (1979) and I. Hoffmann (1981) have made it possible for us to find the cognate language of Meroitic: Tokharian (Winters 1984 ,1989).

The work of Griffith and Hintze fulfilled all the requirements for the decipherment of the Meroitic writing.The classical literature supported the view that we might be able to find the Meroitic cognate language through a comparison of the Meroitic terms and Kushan lexical items.

To test the Kushana hypothesis we had to then:

1) find agreement between Kushana and Meroitic terms;

2) compare Central Asian and Egypto-Sudanese toponomies;

3) compare Kushana and Meroitic grammatical forms.

In recent years researchers were able to develop a grammar of Meroitic, without being able to read Meroitic. The research of Hintze (1979) and Hoffman (1981) made it possible for us to find the cognate language of Meroitic: Tokharian (Winters 1984 ,1989).

Hintze (1979) grammar of Meroitic provided the necessary material to compare Meroitic with other languages to find its cognate language. Hintze (1979) recognized three approaches to the study of Meroitic: 1) philological, 2) comparative, and 3) structural (i.e., the morphological-syntactical).

The philological methods of Hintze (1979) was informed guesses based upon context.In the comparative method the structures of two or more languages are compared to determine the relationship between languages. Hintze's (1979) discussion of the Meroitic affixes provided us with the linguistic material to compare Meroitic successfully with Tocharian.

The comparative method is used by linguist to determine the relatedness of languages, and to reconstruct earlier language states. The comparative linguist looks for patterns of correspondence, i.e., the isolation of words with common or similar meanings that have systematic consonantal agreement with little regard for location and/or type of vowel. Consonantal agreement is the regular appearance of consonants at certain locations in words having analogous meanings.

Using the comparative methods proposed by Hintze we have found that the Meroitic inscriptions are written in Tocharian, a language used as a lingua franca in Central Asia by the Kushana or Kush people. The Kushana people ruled Central Asia and India. Linguist prefer to call the Kushana language Tocharian, after the Sanskrit term for Kushana: Tu-kara.(Winters 1984, 1989, 1996a, 1996b).

There is structural, morphological and toponymic evidence which support the view that Tokharian is cognate to Meroitic(Winters 1984,1989). There are many Central Asian place names that agree with toponomies in Nubia/ Sudan. Below we list a few of these common toponomies:





Shaur ……………………………………Sarur



Khara ……………………………………….Kara-

Kupuri………………………………………….Gabur, Capur

These placenames can be compared with the maps of Central Asia and the Sudan supplied published by Dr. Vamos-Toth Bator in his Tamana studies .

My decipherment of Meroitic indicates that many terms alleged to be Meroitic by Griffith and others must be discarded. I am forced to ignore the proposed meaning for some proposed Meroitic lexical items because they do not agree with my research into Meroitic. But I accept some of the alleged Meroitic terms as being verified by my decipherment both due to their Egyptian origin, or affinity to Tokharian terms.

It must be remembered that most of the alleged Meroitic lexical items were simply guesses by the researchers. These terms become valid only when they can be read in all the Meroitic text and have consistent meaning. I found that some of these terms are homonyms, while other terms "discovered " by Griffith and others were good guesses that do not prove valid given our discovery of the cognate language of Meroitic.

There are several recognized Meroitic words (Hintze 1979).The following words correspond to Tokharian words:

Meroitic..................... Tokharian

Ø kadke / ktke # queen……………… Ø katak # master of the house

Ø ato # water ……………………………………… Ø ap

#Ø s # 'race'……………………………………………………… Ø sah # 'man'

Ø wide # youth ……………………………………………… Ø wir #

Ø qor # monarch ……………………………………………. Ø oroce # 'the grand king'

Ø parite # agent……………………………………………… Ø parwe # 'first'

Ø apote # 'envoy'………………………………………………..Ø ap # 'father'

It is obvious that apote and parite do not relate to Tokharian because these are Egyptian loan words adopted by the Meroites. But around 57% of these terms show agreement. This made it highly probable that Meroitic and Tokharian were cognate languages.

The grammar of Meroitic determined by Hintze (1979) allowed us to also make comparisons with Tocharian to test the Kushana hypothesis for reading Meroitic. This comparison of grammatical structures showed cognition between this language and Meroitic.

Hintze was sure that there were a number of Meroitic affixes including:






B.G. Trigger in his "Commentary" (Hintze 1979) mentioned several other possible Meroitic affixes including:




In addition , A. M. Abdalla in his "Commentary" (Hintze 1979)mentioned three possible verbal suffixes , including:



These alleged Meroitic grammatical elements encouraged me to seek out a language that contained these typological features as the possible cognate language for Meroitic. The Kushana language includes all of these affixes.

Researchers working on Meroitic determined several possible prefixes:





In Tokharian we find these prefixes: p(ä), the imperfect prefix and imperative, y- the Tokharian element joined to demonstratives, and yopsa ‘in between’.

There are other affixes that relate to the Meroitic suffixes including –te, the demonstrative ‘this, etc.’; -o, the suffix used to change nouns into adjectives. For example: aiśamñe ‘knowledge’, asimo ‘knowing; klyomñ ’nobility’, klyomo ‘noble’.

Other Tokharian affixes which agree with Meroitic include –te and -l. The Tokharian locative suffix is –te. The ending particle in Tokharian is –l.

The Meroitic –t, corresponds to the –t ‘you’. In Tokharian the pronouns are placed at the end of words: nas-a-m ‘I am’, träkä-s ‘he says’, träkä-t ‘you say’.

The –t element in Tokharian can also be used to represent the third person singular e.g., kälpa-t ‘he found’.The p-, element used to form the imperative in Tokharian and imperfect . This affix is used in both Tokharian A and B. For example,Tokh.A klyos "to hear, to listen"p(a)klyos "You listen"p(a)klyossu "s/he listens"Tokh. B klyausp(a)klyaus 'you listen"A. ta, tas, "to lay, to put"ptas 'you lay'B. tes, tas 'to put, to lay'ptes 'you put'.

The Tokharian -n-, has many uses in Tokharian. It can be used to form the subjuntive, e.g., yam 'to do', yaman 's/he do(es). It is also used to form the plural se 'son', pl. sewan 'sons; ri 'city', pl. rin 'cities'.The plural in Tokharian is formed by the –ñ. For example,are ‘plough’, pl. areñ ‘ploughs’ ri ‘city’ , pl. riñ ‘cities.

Recognition of analogous structural elements in relation to Kushana and Meroitic allowed us to divide the Meroitic phonemes into words. Griffith provided us with evidenec for selected Meroitic nouns.

Abdalla (Hintze 1979, 149) was sure that he detected several common verbs in Meroitic including:








yi mde.

Following this lead we searched the Kushan language to determine if it possessed any verbs that might match the proposed hypothetical verbs of Abdalla. A comparison of Kushan and Meroitic proved to be successful. We now know that he was absolutely right about his interpretation of possible Meroitic verbs.

Below is the interpretation of these Meroitic verbs:

hr , to have dignity

the , suggested posssible to move

tk , to set in motion, to investigate

w-e , to give escort

pl , to boast, to praise

m-de , measure the offering

y i m-de go make (full) measure of the offering

Recognition of these Meroitic terms as verbs gave us any more confirmation that Kushana was probably the Meroitic cognate language. This discovery of Meroitic verbs and nouns, and cognate toponomies in Central Asia and Upper-Nubia-Sudan proved that Meroitic could be read using Kushana lexical items.

The discovery that Tokharian is cognate to Meroitic has led to the full decipherment of the Meroitic script. We can now translate Meroitic using Tokharian. This allows us to obtain new information about the Meroitic civilization.

My research into Kushana or Tokharian has led me to recognize that this language was probably used as a lingua franca or trade language in Central Asia by the diverse peoples living there in an intense bilingual environment (Winters 1996a, 1996b). C. A. Winters (1991) has illustrated how the Greek and Slavic terms in Tokharian were loanwords, absorbed by Tokharian after the Greek conquest of Bactria.

This borrowing pattern was consistent with the spread of the Greek language into Bactria by a small elite group of warriors.The classical and Egyptian sources make it clear that Upper Nubia and the Sudan was inhabited by numerous tribes. The possible early use of Kushan\Tokharian as a trade language made it an ideal candidate for use by the Meroitic elites who ruled an empire that was made up of many diverse ethnic groups as the language for literate Meroites


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O'Connor, D. 1993. Ancient Nubia:Egypt's Rival in Africa. Philadelphia: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.

Pope, M. 1975. The Story of Archaeological Decipherment, New York Charles Scribner & Sons.

Reisner,A. 1922. Historical Inscriptions from Gebel Barkal, Sudan Notes and Records , 4(2), pp.59-71.

Shinnie, P.L.1967. Meroe:A Civilization of the Sudan. London: Thames & Hudson.

Taylor,J.H. 1991. Egypt and Nubia. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Torok, L. 1990. Ambulatory Kingship and settlement history: a study on the contribution of archaeology to Meroitic history. Etudes Nubiennes, Vol.I, 11-126.

Torok, L. 1984. Meroitic Religion: Three Contributions in a Positivistic Manner", Meroitica 7,8, pp.156-182.

Trigger, B.G. 1970. The Meroitic Funerary Inscriptions from Armina West. New Haven, Philadelphia.

UNESCO. 1978. The peopling of ancient Egypt and the Decipherment of Meroitic Script. Paris: Unesco.

Villard, Ugo Monneret de.1960. Incrizioni della Regione di Meroe.Kush, 8, 93-113.

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________________1999a. The inscription of Tanyidamani. Nubica IV und Nubica V.

_____________.(nd). The Meroitic Chamber Inscription. Nubica IV und Nubica V.

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___________.1996a. Meroitic Decipherment.Ancient Near East Digest 3 (179). Chicago Oriental Institute. ANE Archive. 4 June . [On Line]

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You can read more about my decipherment at thefollowing web site:

I have written a short dictionary of Meroiticterms that you can find at the following web site:

My most recent article discussing Meroitic history and deciphering Meroitic documents titled theMeroitic Evidence for a Blemmy Empire in theDodekaschoinos can be found at the following site:

Yellin, J. 1982. The role of Anubis in Meroitic religion. In Nubian Studies, J.M. Plumley (ed.), (Cambridge: Selwyn College), 227-234..........

Kharosthi and Meroitic Writing

Some researchers argue that the Meroites did not adopt the writing system of the Kushana/Tokharian people which was Kharosthi. Although this is their opinion a comparison of the Meroitic and Kharosthi symbols make it clear that both writing systems share many cognate signs.

Meroitic Script

Comparison Kharosthi and Meroitic Writing
Kharosthi Script

Any student of Egyptian writing knows that whereas hieratic is based on Egyptian hieroglyphics, demotic has no relationship to Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Let's look at what Antonio Loprieno, says about demotic in his book Ancient Egyptian: A linguistic introduction:
"Demotic (seventh century BCE, to fifth century CE), the language of administration and literature during the Late Period. While grammatically closely akin to Late Egyptian, it differs from it radically in its graphic system" (p.7)."Hieratic (2600BEC to third century CE) represents a direct cursive rendering....Demotic (seventh century BCE to fifth century CE) modifies radically the writing conventions by introducing a shorthand-like simplification of Hieratic signs....It should be noted that the concersion from Demotic into hieroglyphs is a purely artificial exercise of modern scholars and was never practiced in antiquity" (p.18)."Unlike Hieratic, whose sign groups mirror the shape of the original hieroglyphs rather closely, Demotic signs break away from this tradition and adopt a relatively small set and stylied, conventional forms, in which the connection to the hierglyphic counterpart is hardly perceivable and which therefore more likely to be used in purely phonetic function....While the demotic system was neither syllabic nor alphabetical, and precisely because the limited number of shapes it used to represent the language required a high degree of professional training on the part of the Late Period scribes...." (pp.22-23).
These quotes make it clear that if the Meroites could learn to write demotic which was different from hiractic and hieroglyphics, it would not have been hard for them to learn to use Kharosthi to write Kushana/Tokharian.
Let's not forget that Welsby in The Kingdom of Kush, notes that "only four of the letters resemble the equivalent Egyptian demotic signs" (p.193) But as you can see from the above there are more than four demotic signs that match Meroitic, and even more of these signs match Kharosthi.

Meroitic was a lingua franca that allowed the diverse people of the Meroitic Empire to communicate in a common language. I have never argued that the Kushites abandoned their native language or that Meroitic was spoken anywhere except in the Meroitic Sudan.
I have argued, and supported with evidence the fact that the Kushites. never wrote their inscriptions in a Kushite language. They used lingua francas to unite the diverse speakers in the Napatan and Meroitic civilizations first Egyptian and later Meroitic.
This is supported by the abundance of Kushite documents written in Egyptian before the introduction of Meroitic.As I point out in post below, the Napatans and Meroites wrote their inscriptions in Egyptian until the Egyptians became a sizable minority in the Meroitic Empire.
The Kushites had a tradition of using a non-Kushite language to record their administrative and political religious activities due to the numerous and diverse subjects from different tribes they ruled. Since the Meroitic and Napatan documents were written in Egyptian there is no lexical evidence of the languages spoken by the Kushites and other groups in the inscriptions left by these people.