On LOST last night, the episode entitled “One of Them” came to a climax where the timer hit zero and a partial display of Egyptian hieroglyphics was displayed.
It hasn’t even been 24 hours since the show as I write this, and someone has posted they’ve discovered what the symbols might mean. Check out this picture of the LOST timer glyphs posted by “onehundredeight” over on http://lost.cubit.net.
I saw this post, and took a look at a number of hieroglyphics sites on the web to see if I could get independent confirmation about what those symbols mean.
First of all, heiroglyphics can be read in several different ways. The biggest question is whether to read these symbols from right to left, or left to right. This is actually pretty easy to determine, even if you don’t have experience with hieroglyphics (and I certainly don’t). The direction the symbols are facing is the direction they should start from. So, for these symbols, you have to read them from left to right.
One of the tricky things about hieroglyphics is that even one symbol change can change the meaning of the phrase. Since we didn’t see the entire set of five glyphs, we have to keep that in mind.
Another thing to notice is that the first three symbols were on a black background, and the fourth and fifth symbols are on a red background. This may mean that there are two glyph phrases. Without the second symbol (which was never revealed), it’s difficult to know if the hidden glyph would make two distinct phrases that make sense.
The first symbol means “to cause”. The last symbol means “enemy” or “death”. Seems like a slam dunk, right? There are a couple of symbols that aren’t used, and like I said, those symbols are important.
I wasn’t able to determinate what the third symbol meant, but the fourth symbol was “the vulture”. One of the heiroglyphics sites (and I’m sorry, I don’t remember which one) described the Egyptian vulture as a bird that will repeated try and open eggs by flying over them with a rock and dropping the rock. Needless to say, this doesn’t work very well, but they continue until they succeed.
So, if we take those two symbols alone, could they mean “drop death”? “Drop death”, as in a bomb? Think about it for a minute. They’re in a hatch near a sealed chamber that’s highly magnetic. There are blast doors in the hatch. Sayid said that there may be nuclear material behind that thick wall of concrete.
Could “drop death” mean “drop a nuclear weapon”? Sure, it’s a variation on “cause death”….but, that’s my theory.
I think the real question that people are overlooking here is not what the heiroglyphics mean, but….. What the heck are Egyptian Heiroglyphics doing on that counter in the first place?
Update 02/23/06 – Read More about the Lost Heiroglyphics
Update 08/22/06 – According to the LOST writer’s themselves, the meaning is “Underworld”. The writers revealed this at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.