Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Writing

The Instruction of Ptahhotep
"No limit may be set to art, neither is there any craftsman
that is fully master of his craft

" The Instruction of Ptahhotep

Champollion & Hieroglyphs

Ancient Egyptian history covers a continuous period of over three thousand years. To put this in perspective - most modern countries count their histories in hundreds of years. Only modern China can come anywhere near this in terms of historical continuity.

Egyptian culture declined and disappeared nearly two thousand years ago. The last vestiges of the living culture ceased to exist in AD 391 when the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I closed all pagan temples throughout the Roman Empire.

It was not until Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798 that the wonderful artefacts of the Egyptians were seen in Europe and their ancient culture began to awaken from its long slumber. In 1799 a French captain named Pierre Bouchard discovered the Rosetta Stone which was carved with the same text in two languages, Egyptian and Greek, and three writing systems, hieroglyphic, demotic, and the Greek alphabet.

This was a tremendous piece of luck because it enabled scholars to unlock the hieroglyphic code and without the stone, we would know nothing of the ancient Egyptians, and the details of their three thousand years of history would remain a mystery.

The man who did more than any other to recover the words of the ancient Egyptians was Jean-François Champollion. He was an historian and brilliant linguist and by the age of sixteen had mastered not only Latin and Greek but six ancient Oriental languages, including Coptic, which was the late form of ancient Egyptian.

Champollion had a unique advantage over others in the task of cracking the hieroglyphic code. Because he understood Coptic he was able to translate the meanings of the ancient Egyptian words.

In the 1820s, Champollion established an entire list of Egyptian symbols with their Greek equivalents and was the first Egyptologist to realize that the symbols were not only alphabetic but syllabic, and in some cases determinative, meaning that they depicted the meaning of the word itself.

The Discovering Egypt Newsletter

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Hieroglyphic Writing

In this section you will find a basic description of ancient Egyptian writing. I have drawn some Hieroglyphs which you can use to write your name.

There is also a simple name translator. You can write your name in the ancient script.


Egyptian Mathematics

In this section you will find a description of Egyptian numerals and how they work.

There is also some mathematical problems set out using the ancient numbers.

12,425 Birds
12,425 Birds

Hieroglyphs showing the words for Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Brother and Sister.


Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Windows >>
More than 1000 glyphs including 400 Egyptian word examples and over 500 hieroglyphs from the Gardiner list. The history of Egyptian writing and mathematics, the use of the different types of symbols, how to write your name, how to recognize kings names and the story of the scribe.

All content can be printed including typewriter and calculator functions. There are also navagation and search text functions.

You can quickly write names and short secret messages and then select print from the menu.

The Hieroglyphic Print Machine

The Software’s functions include the ability to make greetings cards, T-Shirts
and posters. The tool set allows you to make text, lines, squares and ellipses.
You can import your own images and adjust them in the picture editor.
The greetings card function gives you four different card types and the
T-shirt function will automatically reverse your text and images for printing
on transfer paper.

I’ve created hundreds of new glyphs including 388 ancient Egyptian words
with their English translations. There are 143 alphabet, syllabic,
determinative, numbers signs, decorative backgrounds, cartouches and
gods names.

Although this is partly a fun product it also has a serious scholarly element with
the inclusion of the Gardiner’s Sign List. At the moment the software contains
223 Gardiner signs but will eventually be expanded to include the complete
list which you will be able to download as expansion packs.

You can now write secret ancient Egyptian messages to your friends and have
fun creating all sorts Egyptian themed stuff with your printer.