Main icon catalogue

Main features and highlights of the catalogue

Medu Netcher is not only a collection of icons. Our goal with the present application is to make the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system a more comprehensible, organic, humanized and less dependent on the arbitrary specifications of the Manuel de Codage. Making it more like the real writing composition of the ancient Egyptians.

We are aware that it is an impossible mission to pretend to emulate from programmatic methods a fully subjective human writing mode (that also is highly affected by the surrounding elements such as graphical scenes, the support size and edges etc). The objective is, at least to try to imitate the Ancient Egyptians as much as possible.

To achieve this, we need to first change the way the actual hieroglyphic icons are generated and used. That's why our catalogue was created following some new methodologies and providing new tools that will try to achieve that goal when you write within our application. Here you have some of them.

Relational icons

Two icons (G1 and G1A) and its common icons (in color).

The Medu Netcher catalogue is a relational one (i.e. many of its icons are made of or contain other icons of the catalogue). A linked icon remains as it is, so in case it is modified, all the icons that it contains will be automatically updated.

Grid-based icons

10-unit grid used to create the icon G1.

All the icons in the Medu Netcher catalogue were created atop a 10-unit grid in maximum height to get consistency along the whole application (this affects not only the icons themselves, but the written text blocks as well).

Dynamic and variable icons

DynamicGeneration of the icon G56 through G1 and the dynamic D36.

Some icons in the catalogue were created with dynamic parameters, so they can adapt better to the grid within a text, without deforming, as the ancient Egyptians did.

Silhouette icons

Lined and silhouette versions of icon G1.

The silhouette version was used by ancient kings in the Pyramid Texts, by the Middle Kingdom nobles in the wooden Coffin Texts and by New Kingdom nobles in Theban tombs, as well as many other artifacts. The first Egyptological papers also used it, so this display version was a must-have in Medu Netcher as well.

Customizable SVG icons

Examples of possible icon configurations through CSS.

Since the icons are generated with Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) technology, they can be modified into many levels with little effort. You can see all the display options (such as size, colours, stroke widths, etc.) under Settings section.

Other useful icon catalogues

The ancient Egyptians did not make an indexed catalogue of their icons. Today, we have the Gardiner List, which categorises the icons solely by their derivation meaning. On the other hand, the icons could be categorised in different ways, such as phonetically. These additional catalogues enhance Gardiner’s original aggrupation.

Phonetical catalogue

A catalogue where only the icons with phonetical values are displayed and categorized by alphabetical order.

Go to catalogue