The early Egyptians wrote with pictures and signs. Their way of writing was called hieroglyphics. The hieroglyphic script had about 700 signs. Most were pictures of people, animals, plants or objects. It was deliberately kept complicated to that not a lot of people could master it and scribes could keep their special position. Hieroglyphs were used on state monuments, temples, tombs and religious papyri. Hieroglyphics were also carved on mirrors, tables, chairs and games. It was customary in ancient Egypt to carve the story of a person's life on the walls of his or her tomb. Pharaohs often had a record of the events of their time carved on buildings. They could be written from left to right, right to left, or top to bottom.
A scribe was a person who received training to write hieroglyphics. Student scribes took up to ten years to memorize all the hieroglyphic signs. It was his job to write and keep records of taxes and the activities of the pharaohs. A scribe was thought to be a special person and was treated with respect. They also learned lessons in astronomy, mathematics, astrology, practical arts, games and sports. The boys who didn't become scribes followed in their footstep's, maybe becoming a farmer or a carpenter. Girls stayed at home and learned music, dancing and housekeeping skills from their mothers.
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