pre-alphabetic scripts: part ii
EGYPT WAS A CLOSE NEIGHBOR OF THE COUNTRIES USING cuneiform, which we have examined in the last chaper. Ancient Egyptian writing consisted primarily of three connected scripts --the hieroglyphic, which was no doubt the original form and already well developed in the First Dynasty (? about 3000 B.C.), the hieratic, and the demotic. The name hieroglyphic, which was applied to it by the Greeks, means the sacred engraved writing.1 This form was especially monumental and was carved on stone or wood. But it also was written with pen (of frayed reed) or brush and ink on papyrus sheets or other soft material, particularly in religious use. The manufacture of sheets and rolls from papyrus, a plant growing in the Delta area, was itself a highly important contribution made by Egypt to the development of writing. The latest hieroglyphic inscription known was made in 394 A.D. The script is remarkable for the beauty and transparence of meaning of many of its signs, which were made with the greatest care. It had, for example, over seventy signs representing birds, all of which are well distinguished.
It must, however, have been felt too laborious in the ordinary____________________