The word hieroglyphic is derived from the Greek saying ‘scared carving.’ The meaning behind this was that it was first believed that Egyptians wrote chiefly for sacred purposes only. Also, it was believed that the Egyptians always wrote on stone. Both of these beliefs were not totally true. Their primary material used for writing was not stone, nor was their chief purpose of writing for a religious cult or sacred purposes (Blackwell 58). Classical authors generally credit Egyptian hieroglyphics as being the invention of writing.
Decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphs Ashish Verma MS09029 1 The Egyptian Hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs were a formal writing system employed by the ancient Egyptians. The decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphs was a very important event for the advancement of Egyptology. 1.1 About Ancient Egypt The Egyptian state was established in 3150 BC (more than 5,000 years ago). It went through several stable kingdoms and followed by invasions from a series of foreign powers, until around 30 BC when it lost its independence and merged into the Roman Empire (and was no longer a distinct political entity). There was a period of more than 3,000 years when it was socially and culturally distinct.
There are three different kinds of Ancient Egyptian Writing System. Hieroglyphics were the earliest form of Egyptian script and also the longest-lived from 3,400 B.C to 396 AD. The ancient Egyptian word for hieroglyphs were "the words of God" so it is easy to understand why they were used mainly by the priests. Priests used hieroglyphs to write down prayers, texts related to life after death and worshiping the gods. There are three main types of the Hieroglyphics.
During Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1799, a stone known as the “Rosetta Stone “ was discovered which helped decipher the hieroglyphs. The Rosetta Stone was an irregularly-shaped slab of black basalt that was discovered near a little town that was known as the “Rosetta.” The stone had a text recorded in three different scripts which were hieroglyphic, Demotic and Greek. The texts were written from right to left. Many scholars were able to understand the Greek and Demotic text, but they struggled to understand the hieroglyphic part of the text. A Frenchman named Jean –Francois Champollion was the first person to decipher the hieroglyphic part of the text in 1822.
The hieroglyphics were difficult to understand until the Rosetta Stone was studied. After the Rosetta Stone was examined it was easier to learn about the Egyptian language and culture. Thomas Young made the initial progress on decrypting the Rosetta Stone. The person that finally cracked to code on the Rosetta Stone was Jean-Francois Champollion. Jean-Francois Champollion used his knowledge of the Greek language that was on the Rosetta Stone.
While trading in the land of Sumer, the Anc... ... middle of paper ... ...yphs and Sumerian pictograms came from the difference in the writing materials used by the two ancient civilizations. Writing first on heavy clay with fragile reed styluses led the Sumerians to simplify their drawings. By the time the Sumerians began carving commemorative stone monuments around 500 years later, their style of writing was already well established (Encyclopedia Americana, 180). The Egyptians first wrote by carving on stone. Carefully chiseling fine lines one by one into the stone enabled them to make each hieroglyph a small, intricate picture that was decorative and useful.
French Scholar Jean Francois Champollion realized that the hieroglyphs recorded the sound of the Egyptian Language, and this laid the foundation of our knowledge of Ancient Egypt.The stone came into the possession of the British after they defeated the French in Egypt in 1801. The Rosetta Stone is currently in the British Museum, however Egypt wants it back. Jean Francois Champollion and Thomas Young combined their talents to decipher the Demotic script and Egyptian hieroglyphics. They compared them to the Greek text. The Stone was the code that unlocked Egyptian hieroglyphics, without the Stone we would have never figured out the hieroglyphics that the Egyptians made.
The Stela fragment of Mut and Amun was created during the New Kingdom, Egypt predicted to be sometime between 1,550 and 1,069 BCE. However, the artist’s name of this stela fragment is currently unknown, but the medium of the stela is limestone. Egyptian art is broken up into three different parts, which include, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom. “By this time, the co... ... middle of paper ... ... the Stele of the Sculptor Userwer was unfinished and during this time period figures were designed to be eighteen squares tall. “The unfinished decoration of this stela is particularly interesting: the lower part is still covered with the grid used for ensuring that the proportions of the figures were correct” (“Limestone stela of the Sculptor Userwer,” n.d.).
It is a big, granite-like stone that was discovered in 1799 by French soldiers. The soldiers were rebuilding a fort, and when they were digging, they discovered the Rosetta Stone. This stone was given it’s name because it was found in a small village in the Delta called Rosetta. The Rosetta Stone was inscribed in three different languages: Hieroglyphics, Demotic and Greek. This is a key fact on why hieroglyphics are now understandable.
Language and System of writing The system of writing that the ancient Egyptians used is called Hieroglyphics coming from the two Greek words hieros meaning holy and glyphe meaning writing. Hieroglyphics are a series of pictures drawn from one side of the page to the other. Hieroglyphics can be read and written from left to right or right to left depending upon which way the human and animal characters are facing. If the characters face the left then you read from the left to the right. Each hieroglyph represents a single sound, but as the Egyptians wrote sentences and words they took advantage of the vowels so they are still trying to figure them out today.