Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Topics: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Ancient Egypt, Rosetta Stone Pages: 2 (770 words) Published: January 3, 2013
Hieroglyphics are pictures that stand for different words or sounds and were represented in the form of symbols and pictures. They are written symbols, but they’re not part of an alphabet. Only royalty, scribes, priests, and government officials could use hieroglyphics. Early Egyptians created a hieroglyphic system with about 700 characters. Over time, the system expanded to over 5000 symbols. Early hieroglyphics were believed to be made in Sumerian Mesopotamia around 30000 BC. They were logograms representing words using graphical figures such as animals. A hieroglyph used as a logogram defines the object of which it is an image. Some hieroglyphics stood for individual letters, but others represented entire phrases. There were about only 700 at this time. They were used for record keeping, and decorating tombs, pottery, and reliefs. Priests used hieroglyphics to show the acts of various gods and to express religious beliefs. There is also a specific way to read hieroglyphs. You need to look closely at the hieroglyphics to find out. If an animal hieroglyph faces right, you read from left to right. If it faces left, you read from right to left. Sometimes, Egyptians also read hieroglyphics from top to bottom. There are three different types of hieroglyphics; ideogram, phonogram, and pictograph. Ideograms are written symbols that represent ideas or object directly rather than a particular word or speech sound. Phonograms are a unit symbol of a phonetic writing system, standing for a speech sound, syllable, or other sequence of speech sounds. Finally, pictographs are records consisting of pictorial symbols, like a chart with symbolic figures representing a certain amount of a population. Egyptian Hieroglyphics were also in numbers. 10 characters (0-9) are used in the modern numbering system to represent all possible numbers. The position of a character within a larger number is important to defining its value. Each character to the right implies a zero which...
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