Nearly every glyph is something that existed as an object in Ancient Egypt, if it is not a physical object, it is usually something that represents an imaginable concept.

Example:

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There are three ‘types’ of glyph.

  1. Ideograms

These are like emojis. They represent the thing they actually are.

Example

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  1. Phonograms

These are used to represent sounds, whatever object they “are” is not of importance when they are used as a phonogram. (We will cover phonograms in lesson 2).

Example

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  1. Determinatives

A glyph used as a determinative means that the glyphs before this final glyph are to be read as phonograms and the determinative gives a clue as to the meaning of that word

Example

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They also help with meaning when a word has more than one interpretation.

Example:

Mark is a name, but we also mark things. If we were to use determinatives in English, we might put a face after the name Mark, to demonstrate its relationship to people, and a pencil after the other mark, to demonstrate that it means something has been marked.

Direction

Glyphs can be read left to right, right to left, and top to bottom. To tell which way to read the glyphs, you should read into the faces of the animals/people in the glyphs.