Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal and only writing system in the era of Egyptian Pharaos and it has 1070 distinct symbolic pictures of life. Hieroglyphs are written in rows or columns and can be read from left to right or from right to left. You can distinguish the direction in which the text is to be read because the human or animal figures always face towards the beginning of the line. With the final closing of non-Christian temples by the Roman empire in the 5th century, the knowledge of hieroglyphic writing and how to understand it, was lost forever (or for the next 1400 years). Until a black basalt stone found in 1799 had inscriptions in both hieroglyphics, demotic characters, and also Greek and that gave the first clue, to the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
What is the difference between hieroglyphs and hieroglyphics?
Hieroglyphs is simply a shortening of the word hieroglyphics.
Egyptian hieroglyphics is one of the earliest writing systems in the world, with the earliest exhibits dating back to the Early Bronze Age, All the Egyptian hieroglyphics are synonymous with the era of the Pharaohs rulership in Egypt. No-one understood the hieroglyphs and they remained undeciphered until the beautiful Rosetta stone was found in 1799, and on it was the same text inscriptions in both Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek. The hieroglyphics enjoyed widespread use in Egypt for centuries until the writing system died off entirely in the 5th century, triggered by the ban of pagan temples in Egypt by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. Ancient Egyptian temples were later dismantled and used as stone quarries (ready to use building blocks to be picked instead of cutting out new building blocks from the rock), anyway, the temples in old ancient Egypt, was used for new constructions, as for example the building Roman empire defense fortresses. And if you practiced 'temple business' in Egypt at this time - you could be executed, on spot, and what you owned was divided between the Roman soldiers, that acted as 'police'. Any, let's say, for your understanding now, Jew or Buddhist monk, was a legal target to plunder. And their temples could be used for building something else. Any real protests? Not really, let's go fishing. Any way you look at it, they were practicing darkness gods and type of like voodoo-extreme rituals - meaning, that they, the Egyptian priests, did not, or was not, praying to the light for more light in their life's. IT WAS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE - PRAYING TO DARKNESS AND SATAN AND STUFF.
So when the Egyptian high priests and templars and their brotherhood was confronted with their actions by the Romans, they simply started doing something else.
Like when you have shoplifted a Rolex gold-watch from a shopping mall, and a metropolitan police-car passes you, as you walk down the street...!
— You start whistling and look innocent, and perhaps even start your new life as the perfect human!
..Until the Roman police-car is gone - but now you have no temples!
The Roman army thought that the temple building blocks could be used for building themselves a new fort. So you have nothing to return to! Your temples are now gone. But they contributed to the construction of the Roman army defense fortresses in the area. Your holy temple building blocks are now used for the protection of the Roman empire!
As simple as that.
Priest? Ha-Ha. Be a farmer - suck my Roman dick.
And that's how the knowledge of reading and writing hieroglyphs was totally extinct and vanished completely. Those who were in power at the time of the year ~400 (the Romans), well, they didn't use hieroglyphs at all. They had a better alphabetic writing system. So this hieroglyphic writing was no longer needed or at all interesting to keep, and there was simply no use for it. And of course, on top of that, the Roman army suppressed or oppressed the Egyptian civilisation and it's people in all the ways they could, including destroying their national ancient identity, if that was possible. The Egyptians should be obedient. Not look up to themselves.
If the Romans found a pot or pottery in Egypt, they broke it, because they themselves had the more developed and aesthetic Roman amphora's.
Amphora - is a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck.
Below: Why Egyptian hieroglyphs could not be read or understood for almost 1400 years, through the middle ages period, and how the Roman empire started to undermine itself and later disappear totally as a civilization.
In 392 AD, Theodosius banned all non-Christian practices in the Roman Empire, so those who believed in several gods, and practiced more mysterious temples priest rituals was shut down. With this new law, he also efectively silenced the Egyptian civilization.
For this, he became known to Roman Christians as "The Great". However, he was a shortsighted ruler who weakened the empire by dividing the Roman empire between his two sons, Honorius and Arcadius. Splitting the Roman empire permanently, into a eastern and a western empire, effectfully starting the collapse. Can these two empires keep the peace between them? Defend against enemies together, or will the west or east empire try to take over the other? In 379 AD, Theodosius became co-emperor of the Roman empire. In 382 AD, a treaty between Theodosius and the Visigoths made the Visigoths the first independent barbarian nation within the Roman Empire. Theodosius became senior co-emperor in 383 AD. Theodosius became emperor in 394 AD, and he crushed the pagans and ruled the entire empire until he died in 395 AD. At the time of his death, Christianity had become the Roman state religion, and everything else 'religious' was forbidden.
In 380 CE, the emperor Theodosius issued the Edict of Thessalonica, which made Christianity, specifically Nicene Christianity, the official religion of the Roman Empire. Most other Christian sects were deemed heretical, and became according to law, illegal to practice or believe in. And the Roman empire had ruled that they had the right,in those cases to take all your properties, and call it 'confiscated by the Roman state'.
The Rosetta Stone is inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V Epiphanes.
The stone was carved during the Hellenistic period and is believed to have originally been displayed within a Egyptian temple, possibly at nearby Sais, in Egypt. It was moved in late antiquity or during the Mameluk period, to be used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien, near the town of Rashid (now Rosetta) near the Nile Delta. It was discovered in July 1799 by French soldier Pierre-François Bouchard during the French Napoleonic campaign in Egypt. This stone was the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text recovered in modern times, and it aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher the previously untranslated hieroglyphic script that no-one understood. Therefore lithographic copies began circulating among European museums and scholars.
Then the British defeated the French - and took the stone to London after the Capitulation of Alexandria in 1801. It has been on public display at the British Museum almost continuously since 1802 and is the most visited object there.
Study of the decree was already under way when the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803. Jean-François Champollion announced the transliteration of the Egyptian scripts in Paris in 1822; it took longer still before scholars were able to read Ancient Egyptian inscriptions and literature confidently. Major advances in the decoding were recognition that the stone offered three versions of the same text (1799); that the demotic text used phonetic characters to spell foreign names (1802); that the hieroglyphic text did so as well, and had pervasive similarities to the demotic (1814); and that phonetic characters were also used to spell native Egyptian words (1822–1824).
Three other fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered later, and several similar Egyptian bilingual or trilingual inscriptions are now known, including three slightly earlier Ptolemaic decrees: the Decree of Alexandria in 243 BC, the Decree of Canopus in 238 BC, and the Memphis decree of Ptolemy IV, c. 218 BC. The Rosetta Stone is no longer unique, but it was the essential key to modern understanding of ancient Egyptian literature and civilisation. The term Rosetta Stone is now used to refer to the essential clue to a new field of knowledge.
Egyptian was a spoken language. Unfortunately, it is no longer spoken. Along with Sumerian, it is one of the oldest recorded languages known.
And there used to be 3 written forms of spoken Egyptian:
• Hieroglyph - The pictorial script carved on important structures and objects.
• Hieratic - Hieratic closely resembles hieroglyphs. It was essentially a form of hieroglyphs that was easy to write quickly and easily with a pen or brush. It was initially used by priests for sacred documents as well as other written important letters or documents. It was most often written with a reed brush on papyrus.
• Demotic - Demotic is a more flowing and connected script. It was used in more formal and standardized government documents. It was the latest form of ancient Egyptian and later evolved into coptic.
A Reed pen or brush is a writing implement made by cutting and shaping a single reed straw or length of bamboo. Reed pens were used for writing on papyrus, and were the most common writing implement in antiquity. The first to use reed pens were scribes from Ancient Egypt in the 4th century BC for writing on papyrus. They would dip reed pen into an ink and it would retain some ink in a split at the point.
Download from the Egyptian culture learning pack.