How Did Ancient Egypt Use Hieroglyphs?

explanatory Essay
1609 words
1609 words

Thousands of years ago in Egypt, this paper would only be understood by a few people professionally trained to read and write hieroglyphs. Only wealthy children in ancient Egypt were taught to read and write, and the language was kept complicated so that they were the only ones that could understand. Hieroglyphics are a very intricate system of writing that was very complex, was only mastered by scribes, and there are many interesting hieroglyphic discoveries in history. The Egyptians invented hieroglyphs because they wanted their beliefs, their values, their religion, and their way of life to be passed down from generation to generation, and they thought the best way to do that was through writing (UkuleleCari). Egyptian mythology was passed down orally, but they needed a way to keep track of expenses and simple facts of trade more easily, so a written language became necessary (Wimmer 343). The first hieroglyphs were just labels for individual things such as names of people, contents in jars, and tombs. Eventually, hieroglyphs were used on a lot of things, including monuments, temples, and religious scrolls.(Hart, 34) Beetles or scarabs were usually carved on top of stamps. The …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that only wealthy children in ancient egypt were taught to read and write, and the language was complicated. hieroglyphics are a complex system of writing that was only mastered by scribes.
  • Explains that the egyptians invented hieroglyphs because they wanted their beliefs, values, religion, and way of life to be passed down from generation to generation.
  • Explains that egyptians used hieroglyphics for around 3,500 years. the last thing that they wrote dated to the year 394 a.d.
  • Explains the rapid growth of hieroglyphs as a gift from the god the thoth, god of knowledge.
  • Explains that egyptians developed a faster form of hieroglyphs called hieratic, which ran from right to left, but later became demotic.
  • Explains that a lot of people wanted to become scribes because their name would become immortal in their writing. scribe school was only available to high society children.
  • Explains that only scribes, priests and administrators knew hieroglyphs so they did the reading and writing for everyone.
  • Explains that soot was made into black ink, while ochre and hematite were used to make red in
  • Explains that scribes would put water on their writing surface before starting to write as an offering to thoth, the god of knowledge. the papyrus scrolls opened to the right because of the direction egyptians wrote.
  • Explains that the ancient egyptians wrote many books, but because they were made out of papyrus they broke down or lost over time unfortunately.
  • Explains that ancient egyptians had several thousand words, all made with a series of pictures. they would write left to right, right to left, and top to bottom.
  • Explains that the egyptians did not learn hieroglyphs individually, but they learned them in large units.
  • Explains that christianity brought greek letters to egypt, but they still used egyptian letters for sounds that were not known in the greek language.
  • Describes how jean-francois champollion cracked the code of hieroglyphs in 1822. the rosetta stone had three different languages on it, greek and egyptian.
  • Explains that the rosetta stone was one of the most famous hieroglyphic discoveries which led us to understand this complex and beautiful writing system that only a few people understood in history.

Instead the language was a combination of words and letters. The alphabet was divided into two different categories, phonograms and ideograms. Ideograms represented whole words while phonograms represented the letters to spell out the different sounds of the words.(UkuleleCari) Ideograms either represented an object or something related to the object. For example the hieroglyph for legs could also represent movement, and when they were combined with other hieroglyphs, it could represent concepts like “approach” or “give directions.” (Guisepi, 7) Phonograms represented a sound in a word. (Guisepi,

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