Hieroglyphic Egyptian Symbols

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The Egyptians developed writing about 6,000 years ago. Scribes were among the few people who could read and write. They decorated their temples with hieroglyphics, which Egyptians 5 called ‘the words of God. The Egyptians developed hieroglyphic writing at the same time as Sumerian writing was developed on soft clay. However, the Egyptians didn’t write on clay; they wrote on papyrus, wood and rock walls.


30 Hieroglyphic symbols are divided into alphabetical signs that represent a single sound, and signs that represent a combination of two or three consonants. There were also ‘word- signs. These are pictures of objects. There were 35 at least 700 symbols, and each symbol had up to three meanings. Also, a symbol could represent just one sound or it could represent the picture it showed. Our writing system today is much simpler!

Hieroglyphic writing used symbols or pictures to represent objects. People wrote hieroglyphics in case of rows, you can read them from left to right or from right to left. You must look at the human 25 or animal figures to work out which direction to read. (They always face towards the beginning of the line.) In the case of a column, you must read from top to bottom.

10 The Egyptians were the first to use writing in everyday life. That is how they found that hieroglyphics were great for decorating temple walls, but not very useful in daily business. For these more common activities, people used a 15 simpler script, called ‘hieratic’.

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Hieroglyphic Egyptian Symbols
Hieroglyphic Egyptian Symbols

  • Hieroglyphic Egyptian Symbols
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