REMINDERS OF HOME: A survey of the semiotic signs related to human dwelling-places

Abstract Introduction Early Shelter Color Pattern Meaning in Language Archetypes
Parts of Shelters Semiotics and meaning Modern Usage Conclusions References Webliography Links


This sign appeared in the Euphrates-Tigris river valley cultures around 2000 B.C. It stands first and foremost for return or homecoming. Defined with the same meaning, it also appears as Egyptian hieroglyph, in Chinese ideography, on Hopi pottery, within Phoenician scrolls, painted on Tibetan walls and on Bronze Age jewelry dating to 1300 B.C. The symbolic essence of this graphic is the evocation of home, the place to which one returns.

Human culture has evolved a surprisingly interwoven set of signs to indicate this most essential place of safety and revival. This study will examine and compare a variety of signs specifically created to communicate the message "This is my home." Results will be presented in chapters on defining signs, defining home, categorizing marks, comparisons and cultural variations and modern usage.


(C) 2004 Tami Sutcliffe
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Master of Arts in Art History
in the Graduate School of California State University,
Dominguez Hills, March 2004

"Seaside Souvenirs" by Marney Johnson: 32" x 34" - Oil on Masonite
"An Indian Corn Morning" by Marney Johnson: 32" x 48" - Oil on Masonite
"Japanese Juniper" by Marney Johnson: [central triptych panel] 34" x 36" - Oil on Masonite
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Last updated 07.15.04