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Hieroglyphs: Say What?

Hieroglyphs on wallWhen you want to get a friend on the other side of the classroom to meet you for lunch (without disrupting class and getting in trouble) what do you do? Write her a note that says something like "meet me for lunch," right?

Easy enough. But what if you and your friend don't speak the same language? How would you get your message across?

What about pictures? Before there was a written language, people used pictures to communicate. That's how ancient Egyptians recorded ideas. Their pictures were called hieroglyphs. The problem with pictures, though, is that not everybody agrees on what they mean. Take these hieroglyphs, for example:

Hieroglyphs to be decoded


Hmmm. Some birds, a half moon, a feather, and a oval. Or maybe that half moon is a stone sticking out of the ground. And maybe the oval is really a hole in the ground. Maybe what it means is that two birds standing by a rock have a hole to jump in if trouble happens by. That might make sense, but it's not quite right. The pictures simply mean "water."

Say what? How could that possibly mean water, you ask? Good question. Want to know more? Look at more hieroglyphs and see if you can crack the code.



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