From Haaretz daily in Israel:
Israel currently has a great many professors of law and business administration, but very few professors of Egyptology. The few students who want to learn about hieroglyphics or the history of Pharaonic Egypt are often forced to make do with the single lecturer, at most, who specializes in this field at each university.
This week, the nation’s universities announced a new initiative aimed at enabling “unpopular” fields of study to continue to exist in an era of budget cuts: four joint programs in which students will take classes from lecturers at several different universities.
Thus an Egyptology student would spend one semester, or one day a week, at Tel Aviv university, and the next he would go to Haifa University or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The four programs are in ancient Near East languages and culture, Africa studies, Latin in the Middle Ages, and Jewish culture in the ancient world.
Hieroglyphs, the writing system of ancient Egypt, were used only by an elite – it is estimated that only 0.4 % of the population could read and write during the Pharaonic period. But where and how, exactly, were they used? Here.
ScienceDaily (July 12, 2010) — A tiny clay fragment — dating from the 14th century B.C.E. — that was found in excavations outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls contains the oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archives, further testifies to the importance of Jerusalem as a major city in the Late Bronze Age, long before its conquest by King David, they say: here.