Egyptian Glyph

Want to know more about Egyptian glyph characters? Read on to find out about Egyptian glyphs and how they were used in the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system...

Although hieroglyphs were invented in Egypt it was the ancient Greeks who first coined this term for Egyptian decorative characters. The Egyptian glyph is a symbol that is meant to represent an object and it is upon these symbols that the Egyptian system of writing was based.

Archaeologists have been able to find examples of Egyptian hieroglyphs carved upon various different monuments, artifacts and buildings from ancient Egypt. The Egyptian hieroglyphic system is considered to be one of the oldest organized writing systems. The examples that archaeologists have been able to find date far back to 3300 BC.

The use of hieroglyphics was prevalent in Egypt for almost 4000 years following its invention. The Egyptian hieroglyphic system flourished during the era when old Egyptian was spoken and written in the vast majority of Egypt. This was the time period between 3000 to 2200 BC.

The larger majority of Egyptian population was not well versed in this unique writing system. Rather the use of hieroglyphs was restricted amongst the royalty, civil officials and priests. This was primarily because learning how to make use of Egyptian glyphs was quite a time-consuming and difficult task.

At the time the use of Egyptian glyphs popularized around the country many different cultures were making use of writing systems that had similarities with the Egyptian hieroglyphic system. However historians have not been able to establish cross connections between the writing system developed in Egypt and those that were being used in Mesopotamia, China and America.

Egyptian Glyphs Character and Form

The Egyptian hieroglyphic system has somewhere in between 700 to 800 basic symbols that were known as glyphs. With the passage of time the number of glyphs that were used in the system grew considerably which was primarily because the concept of writing religious texts had popularized.

The glyphs were written from right to left in long perpendicular lines starting from the top and going towards the bottom. The hieroglyphic system was void of any punctuation or spaces between characters. In general Egyptian gifts can be divided into two distinct groups. The first of them is a group of phonograms which are meant to have a phonetic value. The other group consists of ideograms that represent complete ideas and concepts and do not have a phonetic value.

Historians have not been able to figure out how to accurately pronounce Egyptian hieroglyphic texts. This is primarily because the Egyptians would not write down their vowels although while speaking these vowel sounds would be pronounced.

Sentences would begin with the use of phonograms which would then be followed up by ideograms. This is very similar to the determinative terminology used in grammar where the ideogram would actually be specifying the category of the word being used in the sentence.

While some elements of the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system have been deciphered by historians there are many other aspects that are considered impossible to comprehend at this point in time.

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