Hieroglyphs, what the heck are they? Hieroglyphs are drawings that made up Ancient Egypt's written language. The earliest Hieroglyphs were simple pictures that showed what the scribe (writer) wanted to communicate. For instance, a picture of a mouth meant to speak. 

As time went by, this written language became more refined so that certain pictures stood for certain sounds instead of whole words. In that way Ancient Egyptians could spell out words. Also, Egyptians developed numeral Hieroglyphs so they could do math problems. 

Could every Ancient Egyptians read and write with Hieroglyphs? No, only the sons of wealthy Egyptians could be trained. They were called scribes (writers.) This was tough work; the scribes had to learn over 750 hieroglyphic signs.

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Can you write your name in hieroglyphics?

Can you write a message in hieroglyphics for someone else to decode?

hier_a
 

A

hier_b
 

B

hier_k
 

C

hier_d
 

D

hier_f
 

F

hier_g
 

G

hier_h
 

H

hier_i
 

I & E

hier_j
 

J

hier_k
 

K

hier_l
 

L

hier_m
 

M

hier_n
 

N

hier_ou
 

O

hier_p
 

P

hier_q
 

Q

hier_r
 

R

hier_s
 

S

hier_t
 

T

hier_ou
 

U

hier_f
 

V

hier_ou
 

W

hier_x
 

X

hier_y
 

Y

hier_z
 

Z


Egyptian Numerals

Earliest Egyptian system hieroglyphic based on the repetition of symbols for one, ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand and million.

Oldest known numerals:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
100 - 1000 - 10000 - 100000 - 1000000

Hieroglyphs were written from right to left

e.g.: 256

Because there are different symbols for one, ten, hundred etc. it doesn't matter which way round you write the number.

No need for zero

2018

Our knowledge of how calculations were performed derives from a number of surviving papyri (Rhind, Ahmes).

Ahmes is written in hieratic script but can be transcribed into hieroglyps.

To multiply 12 by 12 the Egyptians would first double the number 12 and then double the result.

4 x 12 = 48
8 x 12 = 96
  ----
  144

To proceed more rapidly the Egyptians frequently multiplied by 10. Also they sometimes halved the results obtained

e.g.: 16 x 16
  1 x 16 = 16
  10 x 16 = 160
  5 x 16 = 80
    ----
    256

The hieratic system developed from the hieroglyphs. In this system the Egyptians went from repetition or ordering to encipherment (the assignment of an individual symbol to a number).


hieratic form, not repetition goes up to !!

Perhaps they went too far - too many symbols!!