- 3200 BC -Hieroglyphics were develped and used on stones, it is considered the world's oldest known Alphabet
- 3000 BC -Papyrus was invented , it's the world's earliest paper
- During the course of history, Egyptians developed another 2 writing scripts, Hieratic and Demotic
- 650 BC -Demotic became administrative and legal script during the Late Period
- Knowledge of Egyptian scripts was lost after it had been superseded in the 4th century A.D. with Coptic.
- No key to their meaning was found until the discovery of the Stone of Rosetta. in the 18th century.
- 1800 AD, - Writing Scripts were decrypted by Champollion, who studied the Rosetta Stone for 14 years
Comparison Between Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Roman Alphabet
|Criteria||Egyptian Hieroglyphic Script||Roman Alphabet|
|Early Development||- Hieroglyphs carved in stone appeared until the 1st Dynasty of Egypt c. 3200 BC, and was used in monumental formal writing
- The earliest known hieroglyphic inscription was the Narmer Palette, found during excavations at Hierakonpolis
|The earliest known inscriptions in the Latin alphabet date from the 6th century BC It was adapted from the Etruscan alphabet during the 7th century BC|
|Spread||Formal and monumental writing in Egypt from 3100 BC to 400 A.D., it was never used anywhere else and only few scribes and priests in Egypt understood it||The Latin alphabet spread from Italian Peninsula and became the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today|
|Writing System||- This script contained a combination of:||Few consonant and vowels formed the alphabet|
|Symbols and characters||During the classical Latin period the alphabet had 23 simple letters phonetic in nature - simplicity helped the spread of the alphabet|
|Rules of orientation||
1. The hieroglyphs can be written in three directions: From top to bottom, from left to right and from right to left.
2. Animal, bird or human symbols point the start of the line
3. signs relating to an image face in the same direction as that image
|From left to right|
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Developed along side the hieroglyphic system (3100-650 BC)
- Hieratic script emerged from the Pre-Dynastic Period artistic tradition during the Pre-Dynastic Period, developing along side the more formal hieroglyphic script
- This script was more suited than hieroglyphs for use on papyrus, allowing scribes to write quickly in ink with a reed brush
- There are also hieratic texts written on cloth, especially on linen used in mummification
- Through most of its long history, hieratic was used for writing administrative documents and religious texts.
- Hieratic script always reads from right to left
- Initially hieratic was written in either columns or horizontal lines, but after the 12th Dynasty during the Middle Kingdom, horizontal writing became the standard
- For most of the letters in the English alphabet, there is a corresponding heretic script symbol, however there are some exceptions.
- Hieratic influenced Demotic script, its direct descendant
Derived from Hieratic (650 BC-452 AD)
- Many of the characters lost their picture form altogether and became mere symbols
- Written from right to left in horizontal lines
- Early Demotic (650-332 BC) - in the 27th Dynasty, Demotic replaced Hieratic and became the official administrative script. Demotic was used only for legal and commercial texts, while hieroglyphs were reserved for religious and monumental texts.
- Middle Demotic (332-30 BC) - This stage of writing was used during the Ptolemaic Period. By the end of the third century BC, Greek became the administrative language of the country, and Demotic lost importance.
- Late (Roman) Demotic (30 BC-452 A.D) - From the beginning of Roman rule Demotic was progressively replaced by the Greek-derived Coptic alphabet, the quantity of Demotic texts decreased rapidly and was used only in a few ostraca, mummy labels, and graffiti. The last dated example of the Demotic script is dated to 11 December 452 AD, and consists of a graffito on the walls of the temple of Isis on Philae
- It was deciphered before the hieroglyphic script by Thomas Young, who also attempted to deciphered the hieroglyphic script, though without much success.
- Demotic is the second script inscribed on the Rosetta Stone