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What Are the Origins of Egyptology

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The curiosity that Europeans felt toward ancient Egypt during the Middle Ages began to evolve into a genuine desire to view pharaonic culture more objectively during the Renaissance. While Renaissance artists were influence by Greek models to create some of the finest pieces of work in the history of Western Civilization, some scholars began looking at ancient Egypt from beyond the perspective of the Bible. By the fifteenth century, most educated Europeans knew that pyramids were used as tombs, not granaries as they had previously believed. <ref> Curran, Brian A. “The Renaissance Afterlife of Ancient Egypt (1400-1650).” In <i>The Wisdom of Ancient Egypt: Changing Visions through the Ages.</i> Edited by Peter Ucko and Timothy Champion. (London: University of London Press, 2003), p. 103</ref> The interest in ancient Egypt began to permeate throughout some of Europe’s oldest universities, but the key to understanding all aspects of pharaonic culture were still unknown – the language. Some Renaissance scholars were able to correctly surmise that the enigmatic hieroglyphic script contained both phonetic and idiomatic elements, but it may as well have been a script from another planet because its decipherment still remained far out of reach. <ref> Curran, p. 108</ref>
====The Enlightenment and Ancient Egypt====

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