Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics Facts

Hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt
Egyptian Hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphs was the formal writing system of the ancient Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians carved these pictures and symbols onto the walls of their temples and monuments and wrote them on pottery, wood, papyrus, and other writing surfaces. For centuries after the end of the great Egyptian civilization people tried to decipher the meanings of these symbols. There meanings remained a mystery until a discovery in 1799 enabled their meanings to be revealed in the early 1800s. The list of interesting facts below provides information on how the meaning of hieroglyphs was unlocked, where these symbols were used, and why only a few ancient Egyptians knew how to write hieroglyphs. This information is written for both kids and adults.

Hieroglyphic Interesting Facts

Types of Hieroglyphics

This ancient form of writing used approximately one thousand symbols. These symbols could be classified into 3 different types (see below).


These symbols represented a word or phrase. These symbols usually had a vertical stroke below them to indicate it represents a whole word or phrase. An example is the hieroglyphic symbol for a house.


Syllabic symbols represented a vocal sound. For example, the symbol for a mouth usually corresponded to the sound "r" in the English language. Phonograms were used to spell out whole words.


These symbols had no meaning on their own but rather were put after words. Almost every ancient Egyptian word was followed by a determinative. For example, after the symbol of a horse may be a symbol indication that the horse is jumping.

Hieroglyphic Writing Facts