The hieroglyphics printed on the door to Ben’s secret underground lair are the second instance of hieroglyphics on the island. Except this time they are part of the island’s ancient heritage rather than a countdown clock. But what do they mean? Read on and you will become an expert at secret passageway hieroglyphics!
Note: When analyzing hieroglyphics there are a few things to remember they can be read from any direction (such as down-up, up-down, left-right, or right-left), that there are no spaces in hieroglyphics (everything runs together), and the same symbol can be read as many different phrases or ideas.
Top Line – “to summon”, “time to summon” or “to summon time”
In this instance, there is one word that can help us determine the way
the hieroglyphic is meant to be read and unfortunately it is the only
crystal clear word here.
nas – “to summon” or “to call”
Nas or “to summon” is represented by the man with the outstretched arm (see diagram above) and the reason why it is so clear is the simple fact that the word is a determinative. A determinative is the way that the Egyptians associated meaning and pronunciations to their words.
So, “to summon” by itself would appear as n (the squiggle) on top, with a and s underneath, followed by the picture of the man holding his arm over something. This may mean that the hieroglyphics here are meant to be read from right to left, but it is impossible to say which is the right direction.
ra – “time”
The word “time” is an ideograph (hieroglyphic meant to express an idea), and is represented by a circle with a dot in the middle of it. Since the hieroglyphic is somewhat obscured, we can only guess that this is what was meant to be shown.
Second Line – “Protection”, “Power” or “Strength”
The second line does not have anything that could determine direction and is a combination of ideographs and phonetics. There are an infinite amount of possibilities as to what this line means, so I’ll give the phonetic and idea of each hieroglyphic and let you theorize away!
hen – “master” or “priest”
Hen as a noun would translate roughly into master, but could be easily be seen as priest. This could mean the chamber is for holy men only or could be referring to the one who is control of this island?
“man with weapon” – “power”, “strength”, or “protection”
The second line would seem to be anchored by this hieroglyphic, because the phrase “to summon protection” would make the most sense. After Ben left the door covered in soot, smokey was right behind him. Is the chambers purpose to summon smokey?
“container” or “stone container”
This hieroglyphic is the most confusing, could this mean that summoning smokey involves some kind of container?
anx – “life”
This symbol is not an hieroglyphic, but there is a hieroglyphic extremely similar to it. The anx hieroglyphic is a cross much like the one here, but has a looped top. Again this seems to be referring to the ritual that would summon smokey, maybe giving him life or a sacrifice of life is needed to summon him?
The Whole Enchilada – “To summon protection”
The simplest translation of these hieroglyphics is “to summon protection”, but there are almost endless ways they can be translated. Here are a few to get those theories flowing:
“Time to summon strength”
“To summon time protection” or “To summon time power”
“Time summons the power of life”