“Mother Snake, Mother Snake says mucus-mucus”

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Department of Media Relations tells us that previously unexplained Egyptian hieroglyphics can be read phonetically as a transcription of the Canaanite words “Mother Snake, Mother Snake says mucus-mucus.” Apparently this makes more sense than you might think, since the hieroglyphic texts near it speak of a mother snake in Egyptian (not Canaanite)! And the whole collection is understood to be a set of anti-snake defensive charms.

This is by far the earliest text we have from the branch of Semitic which came to include Hebrew, and it’s also proof that the Canaanite/Hebrew branch of the Semitic language family existed independently (and apparently was important enough to make its way into Egyptian spells) very, very early.

And besides all that, it says “Mother Snake, Mother Snake says mucus-mucus.” How cool is that??

Bonus points to anyone who can research out exactly what that phrase is in early Canaanite. That would be cool to know.