Egyptian Mermaid

Egyptian Mermaid

May is apparently considered the month of the mermaid nowadays, so here’s an Egyptian mermaid to celebrate. The fish on which her tail is based would be the Nile perch (Lates niloticus) which is native to the Nile and numerous other rivers and bodies of fresh water throughout the African continent.

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Queen Nefertari Chillin’ on a Divan

Queen Nefertari Chillin' on a Divan

The Egyptian Queen Nefertari, famous consort to Pharaoh Ramses II, is simply chillin’ on a comfy divan in her palace.

The divan’s wood is supposed to be black ebony, which was a popular material for ancient Egyptian carpenters to work with (after they imported it from lands south of the Sahara). In fact, the word “ebony” comes from a Greek corruption of the Egyptian term hbny.

How the Sphinx Lost Its Nose

How the Sphinx Lost Its Nose

Ever wondered how the Great Sphinx of Giza really lost its nose? If you ask the guys at the History Channel, they’ll probably propose a scenario like the one illustrated here.

In all seriousness, it seems likely that the actual culprit was a Sufi Muslim dude in the 14th century, who took off the Sphinx’s nose after seeing Egyptian peasants making offerings to it (since Islam forbids idolatry). Apparently, he got himself executed for vandalism by the local authorities for desecrating such an iconic national monument. It’d be like someone today launching rockets into our Mt. Rushmore.

Predynastic Egyptian King on an Elephant

Predynastic Egyptian King on Elephant

Around 3700 BC, a king of predynastic Upper Egypt surveys his domain from atop his tame elephant on a rocky precipice. Archaeological excavations at the predynastic site of Nekhen (also known as Hierakonpolis) in southern Egypt have revealed the skeletal remains of numerous animals kept in the local king’s royal menagerie, including an African elephant. It’s tempting for me to imagine that the predynastic Egyptians might have ridden such mighty beasts into battle, much as the people of Kush apparently did during the Meroitic period several millennia later.

Unfortunately, once the Sahara became a desert ~3000 BC, elephants would no longer be found in Egypt for the people to use. Which would have really sucked for them, because those animals would have come in handy for pulling big stones around.

Pharaoh Hatshepsut Portrait

Hatshepsut_Portrait_Pencils

After doing so many paleo-themed pictures lately, I wanted to return to ancient Egypt for a bit by doodling this portrait of the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut. I used to draw this woman all the time, but it feels like it’s been a while since I last did so. However, I think this is the first time I did a drawing of Hatshepsut with her the false beard of her office attached.

Origin and Evolution of the Western Alphabets

Origin and Evolution of the Western Alphabets

This is an educational poster I created to show the evolution of modern Western and Middle Eastern alphabets. It starts with the prehistoric African rock art traditions that would form the foundation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (with perhaps some additional inspiration from Sumerian cuneiform) and then shows derivative forms such as proto-Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic (among others). It’s by no means a complete collection of all the scripts that evolved from these foundations, nor does it include alphabets from other literary traditions (e.g. Indian, East Asian, or Mesoamerican ones). Nonetheless, it should go to demonstrate the multicultural, transcontinental heritage of the modern English alphabet we use today.