Origin of Hieroglyphics

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Ancient Egypt conjures up thoughts of a great civilization, one very advanced for its time. The Ancient Egyptians invented all different forms of literature, including poetry and short stories, and they were extremely advanced as far as art, medicine, science, and religion went. One of the more mysterious aspects to Ancient Egyptian civilization was their use of hieroglyphics. Very few people to this day can understand the complex language. The origin of these hieroglyphics seems to also to be misunderstood by many people. Some think that since the Egyptians were such a close, rigid society that they invented the form of writing called hieroglyphics, but that is simply not true. The origin of using pictures to represent things can be traced all the way back to caveman times, but the main influence for the Egyptians came from the land of Sumer. In fact, the beginning of Egyptian civilization was very similar to that of the Sumerians. By 500 b.c., farming settlements were established all along the Nile River (Warburton, 69). Civilization in Egypt brought problems similar to those that arose in Sumer, but it was the growing government bureaucracy, not business, that created the need for writing, and the eventual development of hieroglyphics. Because the Nile flooded every year, the Egyptian farmers had begun to build dikes to keep the floodwaters out of towns, basins to capture and hold the water after the floods receded, and irrigation canals to distribute the water throughout the fields (Warburton, 70). Those projects required a very organized effort among every one of the farmers, and a strong central government and bureaucracy developed to manage and control this effort. Eventually, this bureaucracy, including the king, the upper-class, and the ever powerful priests in charge, became a huge, rigid network that managed everyone's life. By 3100 b.c., when the Sumerians had invented their picture writing, it had become impossible to run that network...
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