Hieroglyphs are one of the oldest writings in the world and were the first written
Language in Egypt. They were only written by scribes and trained teachers. Hieroglyphs
were the most famous writing in Egypt. They are very interesting because they are not the
same as our writing they were all pictures.
Scribes were the only known people who knew how to write hieroglyphs. Some
of the hieroglyphs they used were kept complicated so other people couldn’t write them
and so scribes could master them and keep their rightful position. Scribes didn’t only use
hieroglyphs; they also used a writing called hieratic which was fast written writing.
Scribes were very highly respected because they knew how to write. They had to
memorize seven hundred symbols by heart to actually begin working. Scribes used ink
and a reed pens because they didn’t have pens or pencils back then. They wrote on
papyrus when they were qualified to write. For example one of the tasks they could be
assigned is to collect taxes.
Scribes had to learn all seven hundred hieroglyphs in seven years; if they didn’t
master all seven hundred hieroglyphs then they would be kicked out of scribe school. The
children who wanted to become scribes went to scribe school when they were only five
years old. The children’s parents had to have a lot of money to send their children to
scribe school because it was very expensive. When Scribes were first learning how to
write hieroglyphs they had to write on broken pottery. The schoolteachers were very
strict on what the students did in school. If you were lazy or not paying attention you
would be beaten or even expelled. If you talked when you were not supposed to you
would be beaten, if you made a mistake while writing you would be beaten, if you made
a sound while being beaten you would be beaten again. If you went home and told your
parents you were beaten you would be beaten again because you were not following the
The hieroglyphs were used to administer and record everyday life, taxes to land
surveys, court cases and royal decrees. Hieroglyphs were also used to keep track of
documents and enemies killed. The hieroglyphs sometimes stood for whole words but
most of the time they stood for letters. The Egyptians wrote their words the way they are
pronounced, for example cat they would spell it like k-a-t. They don’t have extra letters
that sound the same. For example c and k they sound the same so they would not use one
of them. There were no vowels in the Egyptian writing.
Hieroglyphs are not well known in Egypt anymore because no one uses them
anymore. Hieroglyphs are one of the most complicated writings ever known. You had to
be smart, skilled, and have a lot of money to become a scribe.