A 2D ancient point of view
"A picture is worth a thousand words"! But what about two pictures?
The most intriguing feature of ancient Egyptian painting and writing is their flatness. For thousands of years the painting and hieroglyphic dogma was strictly respected as a sacred directive. Actually, this “2D” style in murals is present all over the world in ancient cultures. Why?
Focusing on the Egyptians, we might start questioning how this sacred artistic approach was possible for such a long period in a very developed society, having advanced geometry and superb architectural skills!
“Perspective” in art was discovered (or better said- was used) much later during the Italian Renaissance even if some faint elements of perspective could also exist in ancient art, as overlapping figures on the murals in ancient Egypt, scaled painted characters (bigger means closer to the viewer), ancient Greece etc. But we are still dealing with 2 D graphics. Sculptures are 3D though! Human eyes were able to see the perspective of mountains, roads, buildings etc! In this context why is perspective missing in ancient art?
Cave paintings on the other hand, especially those in France (Lascaux, Chauvet etc) thousands of years older than the established antiquity, show advanced painting techniques and perspective, an almost 3D design!
It looks like a regression in art development, a jump from the realistic observation and re-creation of the environment to a dogmatic, flat universe! How could our ancestors lose grip on the 3D perspective illusion?
Was it just a simple art involution? Maybe some other factors should be considered.
Egyptian hieroglyphs can be read from left to right, right to left, top to bottom, etc facing the god to whom the text is referring to! But this writing is a pure mural depiction. And it is sacred as are the paintings in temples or tombs. Ancient Egyptian paintings are the precursors of modern hero comics cartoons, where the gods are the main characters. These paintings are the ancient Marvel version of a flat, dogmatic view of sacred reality!
Writing and subsequently painting is a gift from the gods, in our case from the god Thoth (or Djehuti), one of the most ancient gods in the Egyptian pantheon! His ibis head is easily recognizable and is associated with special attributes as “the scribe of the gods”, companion of Ra, etc.
If a bird like creature taught hieroglyphic to the ancient Egyptians, maybe this is reflected into the writing style itself.
Certain animals, birds and reptiles have monocular view as their eyes are placed on the sides of their heads. The images are reunited in the brain as one or two images of the environment. Rattle snakes have thermal receptors that enable them to create images as thermal night vision .
The Ibis head of the god Thoth will place his eyes on the far sides of his skull and this fact will be decisive in the formation of the images in the brain of such a creature. If it was a creature at all and not a technical device, a robot or an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity .
Modern technology created 360 degrees photo/video cameras with two or more lenses. The images obtained look strangely similar to what Thoth’s view could be! In this case we get two 2D different images that even if combined with no perspective and depth of field attributes, the two images will be flat!
Several experiments should be done, using mirrors too (mirrors were sacred tools of the gods in ancient Egypt! Why?) Also, this possible interpretation could be considered during the translation of hieroglyphs as facing, same story, reunited, depictions.
Other interesting but very faint evidence could lead to a 2D sacred view of messages in ancient Egypt.
According to ancient stories, the god Horus (another bird like being) son of Isis and Osiris, lost an eye during the frequent battles against Seth, the murderer of Osiris. Isis asked Thoth for help in restoring the complete sight of Horus. The ibis headed god promptly repaired Horus’s lost eye!
Is the “eye of Horus” a 2D image sensor? Were that peculiarly drawn texts and murals meant for a 2D vision sighted god, the One-Eyed Horus being and a high-tech Thoth ibis-headed extraterrestrial?
As usual in the end I will stress that further out-of-the-box experiments should be the leading engine in ancient technology research because lots of 2D images could reveal much more than just one thousand 3D words!