Over 5000 years ago, the ancient
Egyptians wrote things down using a picture writing called
hieroglyphics. The people who did the actual writing were called
The scribes had a problem. The ancient
Egyptians wrote everything down, absolutely everything! Although
hieroglyphics were very pretty, it took time to write in
Scribes needed a faster way to write
things down. They created a new form of writing called Demotic script.
The new scribes did not study the old language of hieroglyphics. They
could write much more rapidly with some of the new scripts they
Hundreds of years later, archaeologists
discovered beautiful hieroglyphic writing on the walls of ancient
Egyptian pyramids and tombs. The archaeologists had a problem. They
knew hieroglyphics had meanings. Although lots of archaeologists could
read Demotic script, there was no one left in the world who remembered
what the ancient hieroglyphics meant.
It was most frustrating!
It was not until quite recently, a mere
200 years ago, that a stone was found in Egypt. This stone had the
same short story written on it in Greek, in Demotic, and in
hieroglyphics. Scientists could read Greek. Scientists could read
Demotic. And now, scientists could begin to read hieroglyphics. They
named this famous stone the Rosetta Stone.
Today, the Rosetta Stone is on display
for everyone to see. Currently, it makes its home in the famous
British Museum in London.
(story and game)
your name in hieroglyphics
say What? (pbs)
a Buried Message (game, museum of science)
of Hieroglyphics (kidzone)