In 384 A.D. the Christian Roman emperor Theodosius ratified a decree abolishing all pagan rites in the temples of Egypt. Persecution and destruction silenced 3,500 years of civilization. And it was at this moment that put an end to writing and reading of the medwneter the "divine words" of the sacred language of the pharaohs, signs the Greeks called hieroglyphs (hieros = holy, glyphs = carving).
For many years more, over 1,400 years later. hieroglyphs were to remain a mystery. That is until in 1822, when a young linguistic genius by the name of Jean-Francois Champollion(born 1799) of Figeac, France made a great discovery. Thanks to the 1799 (August) campaign in Egypt, lead by General Bonaparte. One of his French officers found a fragmentary stela of black basalt, while working on fortifications near Rosetta, Egypt. Thus this stela with ancient carvings became known from the place where it was found as the "Rosetta Stone".
Unless you already know, the next time you look at any Egyptian hieroglyphics, you will notice that all the snakes, people, and animal characters are facing in the same direction. They are telling the reading where the text should begin. Therefore if all the characters faced to the left you would read the text from left to right. Also used for columns, from top to bottom, and starting where the characters face. If they all faced right, you would begin reading in the upper right corner. There are 3 ways in which one can read the hieroglyphics, left to right (as in the English language), right to left, and top to bottom. The bottom to top method is never used.
The thing to remember when translating or writing Egyptian Hieroglyphs is, there is no use of the vowels (a,e,i,o,u), only consonants. Listed below is the well known consonant signs, which each of the hieroglyphs represents a single sound, like the English alphabet. The when used together theses sounds make up words.
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