Egyptian Hieroglyphs : A Formal Writing System Used By Ancient Egyptians

1802 Words Jul 31st, 2015 8 Pages
Egyptian hieroglyphs were a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that combined logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood. Less formal variations of the script, called hieratic and demotic, are technically not hieroglyphs.
Etymology
The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek adjective, a compound of and γλύφω, in turn a calque of Egyptian mdw· 'w-nṯr 'god 's words '. The glyphs themselves were called 'the sacred engraved letters '. The word hieroglyph has become a noun in English, standing for an individual hieroglyphic character. As used in the previous sentence, the word hieroglyphic is an adjective, but is often erroneously used as a noun in place of hieroglyph ' '.
History and evolution
Hieroglyphs emerged from the preliterate artistic traditions of Egypt. For example, symbols on Gerzean pottery from ca. 4000 BCE resemble hieroglyphic writing. In 1998, a German archaeological team under Günter Dreyer excavating at Abydos uncovered tomb U-j of a Predynastic ruler, and recovered three hundred clay labels inscribed with proto-hieroglyphs, dating to the Naqada IIIA period of the 33rd century BCE. The first full sentence written in hieroglyphs so far discovered was found on a seal impression found in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen at Umm el-Qa 'ab, which dates from the Second Dynasty. In the era of the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom, about 800 hieroglyphs existed.…

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