Egyptian writing system how they write a-z

This action terminated a four thousand year old tradition and the message of the ancient Egyptian language was lost for years.

Egyptian writing system how they write a-z

An Explanation of Hieroglyphics Hieroglyphs, characters in any system of writing in which symbols represent objects such as tools, animals, or boats and ideas such as motion, time, and joy. The ancient Greeks first used the term hieroglyph meaning "sacred carving" to describe decorative characters carved on Egyptian monuments.


The term is now mainly used to refer to the system of writing used by the ancient Egyptians. Archaeological discoveries suggest that Egyptian hieroglyphs may be the oldest form of writing.

Ancient Egyptian scripts (hieroglyphs, hieratic and demotic)

The earliest evidence of an Egyptian hieroglyphic system is believed to be from about or BC, and the Egyptians used hieroglyphs for the next 3, years. Only a small portion of the Egyptian population, primarily royalty, priests, and civil officials, used hieroglyphs because they were difficult to learn and time consuming to create.

Ancient cultures in China, Mesopotamia, and the Americas used similar writing systems, but these systems were not related to Egyptian hieroglyphs. This number grew in the last centuries of ancient Egyptian civilization, because of an increased interest in writing religious texts.

Egyptians wrote hieroglyphs in long lines from right to left, and from top to bottom. They did not use spaces or punctuation.

Egyptian glyphs are divided into two groups: The Egyptians constructed words by using a combination of the two types of glyphs. Readers must generally use both phonograms and ideograms to determine the significance of a word or phrase.

egyptian writing system how they write a-z

Phonograms represented the sounds of single consonants and combinations of consonants. A phonogram that represents the two consonant sounds s on the right and r on the left is: The Egyptians did not write vowels, so it is impossible to know exactly how they pronounced hieroglyphic texts.

When speaking, they may have expressed vowel sounds to distinguish various words that, in writing, look identical.

egyptian writing system how they write a-z

Ideograms could represent either the specific object written or something closely related to it. For example, the hieroglyphic symbol of a pair of legs might represent the noun movement. When combined with other glyphs, the symbol could represent the verb to approach, or the concept to give directions.

The Egyptians usually constructed their hieroglyphs by putting phonograms at the beginning of a word, followed by an ideogram, which is called a determinative when used in this fashion.

The determinative specified the category to which the word belonged, such as motion words or animal words, and clued the reader in on the intended meaning. Following are several examples of hieroglyphs with the sounds s and r that combine phonograms and determinatives: Writing phonograms and determinatives in different combinations enabled the Egyptians to develop thousands of words without having to create a single distinct glyph for each thing, action, or concept.

Priests used hieroglyphs to write down prayers, magical texts, and texts related to life after death and worshiping the gods. When preparing their tombs, many people had autobiographies and hieroglyphic guides of the afterworld written on the surfaces of tomb walls and on the insides of coffins.

The Egyptians believed that these texts helped guide the dead through the afterlife. The use of hieroglyphic inscriptions was not limited to religious purposes.

Civil officials used them to write royal documents of long-term importance, to record historical events, and to document calculations, such as the depth of the Nile River on a specific day of the year.

Egyptian hieroglyphs - Wikipedia

The Egyptians also used hieroglyphs to decorate jewelry and other luxury items. They carved the symbols into stone or wood, and incised or cast them in gold, silver, and other metals. They painted hieroglyphs on various surfaces, sometimes putting down simple figures in black ink, and other times using detail and bright colors.

Occasionally artists carved semiprecious stones or rare woods into hieroglyphic shapes and then inlaid them into walls or pieces of furniture.Ancient Egypt A-Z. (). In Q-files Encyclopedia, History, Ancient Egypt.

Retrieved from Hieroglyphics A form of Egyptian writing, The signs themselves are known as hieroglyphs.

They were used only for inscription on tombs and other official or ceremonial purposes.

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Writing

Egyptian Hieroglyphics includes detailed information on the history of Egyptian writing and mathematics, the use of the different types of symbols, how to write your name, how to recognize kings names and the story of the scribe with a video showing how papyrus is made. Hieroglyphic writing, a system that employs characters in the form of pictures.

Those individual signs, called hieroglyphs, may be read either as pictures, as symbols for pictures, or as symbols for sounds.

Pictograms were simple depictions of the words they represented, but they had limitations. Over time, Egyptians added other elements to their writing system, including alphabetlike characters that stood for certain sounds and other characters, allowing them to write out names and abstract ideas.

Egyptian writing was done with pen and ink on fine paper (papyrus). Egyptian "pens" were thin, sharp reeds, which they would dip in ink to write with. The ink and paint came from plants which they crushed and mixed with water. Possibly pre-dates Sumerian Cuneiform writing - if this is true, the Ancient Egyptian script is the oldest known writing system.

Another possibility is that the two scripts developed at more or less the same time.

Egyptian Writing - Fun Facts for Kids