Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Art

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The Egyptian culture dates all the way back to 3000 BC with its widely known invention of hieroglyphics. Egyptians were inspired by art, that was based off religion. Every piece of art sculpture or paintings that was constructed by the Egyptians related some type of story, these stories were told through writing on tombs, walls, obelisks, pyramids, and papyrus. The Egyptians strongly believed in having a polytheistic belief which is the belief in many gods.

The history of hieroglyphics goes back to 3200-3000 BCE. Hieroglyphics is a way of communications used by the ancient Egyptians. It was like English, Spanish, French and many other languages that we have today. It was a form of writing that the Egyptians learned to be able to communicate between each other. Just like today how English represents your culture and where you are from, that is what Hieroglyphics did. The Hieroglyphics represented their language and culture. The Hieroglyphics weren't like letters that we have in language you know today; they were pictures that meant different things. It can be related to like the Chinese writing, a lot of lines. Because of their pictorial elegance, Herodotus and other important Greeks believed that Egyptian hieroglyphs were something sacred, so they referred to them as 'holy writing (Scoville, Priscila. Egyptian Hieroglyphs.). That is another reason that they have named it Hieroglyphics, it stands for holy writing. Similar to the Alphabet where each letter has a sound, and when you're learning the alphabet you can put an image to it, that's what the Egyptians did with their script. The script was composed of three basic types of signs: logograms, representing words; phonograms, representing sounds; and determinatives, placed at the end of the word to help clarify its meaning. (Scoville, Priscila. Egyptian Hieroglyphs.). Each picture meant something which is why the English language is not much different from the Egyptian language. Egyptian scribes used papyrus and other alternative writing surfaces, including writing boards generally made of wood. (Scoville, Priscila. Egyptian Hieroglyphs.). Papyrus was a form of plant that they were able to write on much like our paper that we have today, they also wrote on bones.

The Egyptians had numerous amounts of art that they had made over the years that we have discovered in this time period. Art was very important to the Egyptians culture; art is a big part of any culture. Every time period had some form of art that made history and is still talked about today. The Egyptian art was based around the thought of Gods. Much like how the Greeks had their Gods and Goddesses the Egyptians art was based off the idea of Gods as well. No matter how beautifully a statue may have been crafted, its purpose was to serve as a home for a spirit or a god. (Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art.). Their art was a form of showing that this is a representation of a God, of a super natural being that would help them out it ways they needed help in. Some forms that they made their art into was tomb paints, temples, palaces, paintings, and sculptures. There were thousands of pieces of art over the years they had made. Most of the tombs that were made were for the kings. They would paint on the walls of the tomb to represent all their accomplishments in life. Understanding the Egyptian art is difficult to understand being we don't know their language very well. Their art work is very much appreciated; the art has a lot of meaning behind them. There are paintings that still today you learn about. One that I remember learning is the mummification. It is a picture of someone who has died and them paying their respect to them. Every piece of art that was made had a reason behind it.

This painting is important to their history of art because it shows what happened to the dead. Mummification was a big part of Egyptian history. When people died they got put in tombs and had a ceremony for them. So this painting shows and represents what happened when you died. Another one that can recall is the painting that was the battle of Nubia. It showed their history of the wars they went through. This painting shows that they defeated Nubia and expanded their land which was a big part of their history. Just like all of our wars that are painted represent our history. The difference between their art and the art that we have today is that theirs was never meant to be seen. Much of the Egyptian art was meant to be represent the death of their people. Almost all of their art is full of text, most of their art showed a sense of civilization and unity within their culture. It is for this reason that Egyptian temples, palaces, homes and gardens, statuary and paintings, signet rings and amulets were all created with balance in mind and all reflect the value of symmetry. (Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art.). Their other form of art was through temples that they hand crafted to represent their culture and the belief of the Gods. Early temples were constructed on sites which the people felt had a numinous quality to them which indicated the presence of a god, gods, or spirits. (Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art.).

The Egyptians first settled near the Nile river To the ancient Egyptians themselves, their country was simply known as Kemet which means 'Black Land' so named for the rich, dark soil along the Nile River where the first settlements began. (Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art.). The Egyptians were very advanced to say the least. Egypt thrived for thousands of years (from c. 8000 BCE to c. 30 BCE) as an independent nation whose culture was famous for great cultural advances in every area of human knowledge, from the arts to science to technology and religion. (Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art.). the Egyptians managed to do death in a different way. Instead of mourning the death of friends and family members they in a way celebrated them. By writing on their tombs and giving them a ceremony. As earlier stated they wrote on the tombs what the dead had accomplished in their life time. They also were very advanced in knowledge of a higher power. They believed in a form of a God much like some people do today. They believed that there was an afterlife in a way. At death, one would meet with judgment in the Hall of Truth and, if justified, would move on to an eternal paradise known as The Field of Reeds which was a mirror image of one's life on earth. (Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art.). They had strong beliefs in Gods and Goddesses and were very religious. Their art work, history and religious belief is very interesting too know about.

The Egyptian's were very advanced in many areas; a lot more than previous eras have been. The art work that they made and kept up with is very advanced compared to others. The language they came up with is amazingly unique and complex. Since they were intensely religious and believed in higher power. Their everyday life revolved around a higher power. Much like today were we serve a higher power they did the same thing. If the Gods, they believed in every helped them out in any way they would praise them. They went years being extremely lucky with their way of life. They gave credit to all their success to the Gods. Their ruler Pharaoh had a lot to do with their success in their culture. Even though their culture was extremely rich and deep. For them being settled on the Nile river gave them an advanced help to fresh water which helped them with their farming. It made the soil incredibly rich for farming which is a big part of their culture. The biggest part of their culture is there art. Their art showed many stories, such as tall tales like we have. They even wrote about events that had taken place during their time period. This is another reason we know so much about their culture. They were very good at writing down what had happened which helps with knowing about their history. It helps us understand their art work, religion, and how their everyday life was here on earth. What we have learned from them is that we have the same traits that they had. Were more advanced than they were but we learned a lot of our traits from them. Such as religion, art, and our language.

Work cited

Mark, Joshua J. A Brief History of Egyptian Art. Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 26 Nov. 2018,

Scoville, Priscila. Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 24 Nov. 2018,

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Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Art. (2019, Aug 08). Retrieved June 23, 2024 , from

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