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Hieroglyphs were the Egyptians form of written language They were a number of pictures that were used to represent a sound syllable determinative or even an entire word similar to the way our letters represent different sounds Interestingly although the exact pronunciation of ancient Egyptian words is unknown so one can not be certain if there was in fact an omission it is believed that often times words were written omitting the vowels The constraints of the language seem to have been rather liberal and often gave way to the potential aesthetics Hieroglyphics would most commonly be written right to left however could be written in any orientation reading always stating from the side to which all the people and animals depicted look As well they could be written in any manner of form when signs were grouped together to create a word Little more can be said about the language in general as it changed much over the course of it is more than 3500 year usage in Egypt It started out sometime around 3100 BCE as a simple system in which every picture or sign corresponded to a word The language later moved towards approximately a thousand signs that were used in conjunction to form words whose individual spellings would often differ from place to place Later still the language shortened down to only 700 or so signs and had standard spellings for words The final stage in the evolution of hieroglyphs involved thousands of signs and incorporated the ideas of signs representing sounds syllables and words as well as determinative Around 400 CE the Egyptian system of hieroglyphics completely died out and was replace by an essentially Greek alphabet After this point it was not until 1822 when French Egyptologist Jean Franois Champollion deciphered the Rosetta Stone that Egyptian hieroglyphics were once again comprehended Hieroglyphs were an incredibly important advancement for the Egyptian civilization as it allowed them to better communicate and
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