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Though the script appeared on vases and stone carvings, many important Egyptian historical scripts and records were written in ink, made from carbon black (soot) or red ochre mixed with gelatin and gum, applied with a reed pen onto papyrus. Evidence from Ur indicates that the simpler potter's wheel probably predates the use of the axled wheel for transport because of the difficulty in designing a reliable mechanism for mounting the rotating wheel on a fixed hub or a rotating axle on the fixed load carrying platform.
Produced from the freshwater papyrus reed, the papyrus scrolls were fragile and susceptible to decay from both moisture and excessive dryness and many of them have thus been lost, whereas the older, more durable clay cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia have survived. Sumerian mathematics and science used a base 60 sexagesimal numeral system.
Is it possible to maintain one’s faith in the face of opposition from one’s spouse? Jackie Elton, founder of Christian Connection, recently had the privilege of attending a church service addressed by Dr Jane Hawking (now Hellyer Jones) – the former wife of world renowned scientist, atheist and motor neurone patient – Professor Stephen Hawking.
Afterwards Dr Hawking was kind enough to answer questions about marriage, faith and science. At the time, it was thought that he only had a couple of years to live, and people were living in the grip of fear that the world would be destroyed by nuclear weapons.
Jane Hawking spoke at a Church in West London of how her faith grew stronger despite the enormous challenges and setbacks in caring for Stephen, facing huge crises when he nearly died during a trip to Geneva.Although sometimes it is very difficult for them to believe in a loving God. This was especially evident when we went on a trip to Israel for Stephen to receive a prize at the Knesset.He seemed to delight in telling the press that he was an atheist and this I found very hurtful and disrespectful.I was able to ask a few questions of Jane after hearing her speak: What practical advice would you give to somebody contemplating marriage to somebody who does not share your faith?What were the typical challenges and how did you deal with them?No, at first we lived in harmony each respecting the other’s point of view – and because he had been giving such a damning diagnosis I could well understand why he would not be inclined to believe in a loving God, let alone given how complex his researches into the origins of the universe were.He has to be able to see the proof of everything in mathematical terms.In Jerusalem, of all places, the most holy city in the world.So I visited the old city several times and found great inspiration there – but on my own.Jane married Stephen Hawking when they were both very young and he had only recently been given his diagnosis. There are so many couples who go through marriage in the face of difference in beliefs – and there is deep insight and experience in her words.In fact they went on to have three children and were married for 25 years.