ENGRAVING MEANING INTO STONE
We want to highlight the engraved Stone Number 32 from the John White Collection for a fourth time.
We are learning more about how the ancient people engraved the letters of the ancient Phoenician alphabet into the blue limestone of the Mississippi Valley. Click here to see how hard stone cuts soft stone.
Just like our writing of English with the Roman alphabet, the meaning of the letters comes from the words created, and words give the storyline that gives the whole composition its significance. Many distinct steps show the intelligence of the person who engraved John White Collection Stone Number 32.
First, there is the use of the Phoenician alphabet. Anyone using Google Search can easily find the forms for the 22-character alphabet of this ancient writing. Some experts have even created fonts that you can download from the internet. Using Photoshop or another image program, it is easy to overlay the characters of the ancient alphabet onto individual letters found cut in the engraved limestone.
Take a look at the above images. Notice how over 80 percent of the characters on the limestone are mapped to the ancient Phoenician alphabet. Is it not remarkable that we can get so many letters from a stone in the Mississippi Valley to tie to the alphabet from which we get our writing system?
Okay, some may say that any clever person in our modern age could take the ancient Phoenician alphabet and cut copies with marks on limestones. But this would only be the first step. To show the intelligence of the cutting person, the letters have to form meaningful words that put stories together so that they make sense. Coherence and meaning reflect intelligence. This is where the talents of Brian Nettles come into play.
Brian has taken the Phoenician characters to form words, and from the words, he has made a translation that gives meaning to the stone. The purpose of the ancient person who cut the stone is reflected in the storyline of the words.