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In that hieroglyphic signs represented pictures of living beings or inanimate objects, they retained a close connection to the fine arts.The same models formed the basis of both writing and art, and the style of the writing symbols usually changed with the art style.
The prerequisite of every writing system is a basic standardization, but such a standardization is not equivalent to a canon (an established body of rules and principles) in the degree of stylistic conformity that it requires.
A recognized canon of Egyptian hieroglyphic writing arose in the 3rd dynasty and was maintained until the end of the use of the script.
Just to confuse you, sometimes they read Hieroglyphs from top to bottom. Hieroglyphs were written on papyrus reed, which is a water or marsh plant, with tall straight hollow stems.
The reeds were flattened, dried, and stuck together to make pages.
The influence of religious concepts upon hieroglyphic writing is attested in at least two common usages.
First, in the 3rd millennium, certain signs were avoided or were used in garbled form in grave inscriptions for fear that the living beings represented by these signs could harm the deceased who lay helpless in the grave.There was no lack of attempts to replace the hieroglyphic writing, cumbersome and ever more divergent from the spoken language, with the simpler and more convenient Greek script.Such experiments, however, remained ineffective precisely because of the emotional value that the old writing system had when the country was under the foreign domination of the Macedonian Greeks and the Romans.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work! Although definite traditions or conventions were quickly formed with respect to the choice of perspective—e.g., a hand was depicted only as a palm, an eye or a mouth inscribed only in front view—the proportions remained flexible.Only those who needed the knowledge in their professions acquired the arts of writing and reading.These people were, for example, officials and priests (insofar as they had to be able to read rituals and other sacred texts), as well as craftsmen whose work included the making of inscriptions.The front view of the face was, however, retained as a hieroglyph from the Archaic period to the end of the use of hieroglyphic writing.Similar cases involve the depiction of various tools and implements.Among these were hieroglyphs for God or individual gods as well as those for the king or the palace.Thus, for example, the two signs , denoting the word combination “servant of God” (priest), are written so that the symbol for God, , stands in front of that for servant, , although the former is to be read last.