Egyptian hieroglyphs are among the oldest writing systems in the world, dating back some 5,200 years.Known in ancient Egyptian as the “language of the gods” and said to have been created by the god of knowledge Thoth, hieroglyphs were vital in the fulfilment of royal duties and were used by powerful pharaohs and their scribes to record the achievements of their reign.
Detail of the outer coffin lid of Nesyamun who lived in Thebes over 3,000 years ago.
The lid is painted with hieroglyphic texts from the Book of the Dead which contain prayers for his safe passage to the afterlife.
They also differ from the Sumerian cuneiform form of writing in that they represent consonants only while cuneiform script represents whole syllables, including vowels.
The Ancient Egyptians rejected the use of abstraction in their language and hieroglyphs drew from many elements in the physical world around them.
They date back an estimated 5,200 years on some rock faces in a desert... as they reached the mountain-side, A wondrous portal opened wide, As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed; And the Piper advanced and the children followed, And when all were in to the very last, The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
The ancients were cleverer than some people today assume.Not everyone in Ancient Egypt could read and write hieroglyphics thus making their meaning incomprehensible to the common citizen.Only one group had this knowledge and they were called scribes.Today, there are over six million people that speak a language that evolved out of the Maya civilization, which inhabited parts of what are now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador for...A team of Egyptologists has discovered giant rock-art hieroglyphs so big the team was “absolutely flabbergasted” at their size.There are between 700 and 800 basic symbols called glyphs and there is no punctuation or indication of where words or sentences begin or end.