BRIAN BRAKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BRIAN BRAKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphic writing on a section of Wall. Hieroglyphs ("sacred carving") were developed in about 3000 BC in Egypt and were used until about 400 AD. The language consists of pictograms; some represent sounds, others represent an entire word, whilst some can either mean a word or a sound depending on the pictograms around them in the text. The pictograms here are read vertically from right to left. The French archaeologist Jean Francois Champollion deciphered hieroglyphics in 1822 using the Rosetta Stone, a slab containing the same text in Greek, hiero- glyphs and demotic (based on letters) Egyptian. Photographed in the British Museum, London.
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