Hieroglyphic Symbols Essay

682 words - 3 pages

Hieroglyphic Symbols
One of the many contributions that the Egyptian Empire gave modern society was the beginning of a complex alphabetic system. This system also set the foundation for the development of many other systems used by us today such as an accurate calendar and the mathematical formulas used by architects and doctors. The Egyptians named this system Hieroglyphic Symbols. Hieroglyphic comes from the Greek “hiero glyphica” which means “sacred carving”.
Hieroglyphics were the first form of written communication in the Western world. The developments of hieroglyphics happened about three thousand years before Christ. Egyptians referred to Hieroglyphics as “the words of God”. But how did the Egyptians develop such a system? Well, the Egyptian traders noticed how helpful a written language was while they conducted business in the Land of Sumer and they brought some ideas to their land. The growing government and bureaucracy made it necessary to have some sort of system that could help society to keep track of history and business. It took a lot of time and effort for the Egyptians to develop their own hieroglyphic system. One of the main problems with hieroglyphics was its complexity. The system was so complicated and hard to learn that only royalty, scribes, priests, and government officials were able to understand the system.

Hieroglyphic symbols began with pictures. At first the symbols represented only objects, but later they were also used to express ideas and sound. There are three categories that hieroglyphics can be divided into: alphabetic, syllabic, and word. Alphabetic signs represent single sound. Syllabic signs are a combination of two or three consonants. Words signs are the pictures used as the words for those objects. These pictures were then followed by an upright stroke to show that the word was complete in one sign. The symbols can be written in rows or columns, and can be read either from left to right or from right to left. The human or animal figures always face towards the beginning of a line and this helps the reader determine the direction in which the text is to be read. Upper symbols are read before the lower ones. From around 3000 B.C. to 400 A.D. the...

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