What is hieroglyphic writing?

Ancient Egyptian Writings

HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING IS A KIND OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WRITING IN WHICH PICTURE CHARACTERS STAND FOR OBJECTS, WORDS, AND SOUNDS.

Several thousand years ago the Egyptians wrote a kind of writing called “hieroglyphic” (pronounced hy er oh GLIF ik), from two Greek words meaning “sacred carving.”

At first glance hieroglyphic writing looks like picture writing.  There are pictures of men and women birds, animals and many other objects.  But it is not true picture writing.

In some cases the pictures stood for words and sounds, not for the things in the picture.  A picture of the sun might stand for “day” or “heat,” for example.

Many pictures and songs stood for single word sounds, just as our letters do.  A picture of a hand might stand for the sound of “d,” and owl for “m,” and so on.

In this manner, the Egyptian could write down any words they knew.  The direction of the writing varied, sometimes it went from left to right, but more often it read from right to left. – Dick Rogers

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