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Ancient Egyptian writing is called hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics are a kind of picture writing that has no vowels. Each picture stands for a sound. For example, a picture of water means "n" and a picture of a basket means "k."

People couldn't understand the Ancient Egyptian writing for many years until a French officer found a stone half covered with mud in Egypt. The stone, called the Rosetta Stone, had three types of writing: hieroglyphics, demotic, and Greek. Another French soldier read the Greek and found out that the demotic language was the same as the Greek and he finally deciphered the mystery of hieroglyphics.

Hieroglyphics were not used by everyone in Ancient Egypt. Only scribes, priests, and rich people like noblemen who had money to afford lessons for their children used hieroglyphics. Priests kept track of food stored in the temple storerooms and scribes made records for businesses. They also wrote hieroglyphics on walls of temples, pharaohs' palaces and on walls of tombs. One special thing they used hieroglyphics for was the Book of the Dead that was written on papyrus and put with a person's mummy or on the walls of their tomb. The Book of the Dead contained spells that Egyptians believed would get the dead person through the afterlife. The process of putting hieroglyphics on walls or pillars was a long and difficult one. First scribes would draw the hieroglyphics and then get checked by other scribes. Stonecutters would come and chisel the hieroglyphics out of the stone. Lastly, painters would paint inside where the stonecutters had chiseled the stone away. This would take many years to complete. Copyright 2007 sponsor Konica Printer Cartridge