SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Phonetic Egyptian hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphs were written characters used by the Ancient Egyptians between around 3000 BC and 300 AD. They were used mainly for inscriptions on monuments and tombs. To begin with, there were around 700 characters, but the system expanded to include around 5000 characters. Some of the characters were ideograms (representing a meaning), and some were phonetic (representing a sound). The characters shown here roughly coincide with sounds represented by the modern Roman alphabet.
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