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How Hieroglyphs Were Deciphered

Games : Codes And Ciphers

Hieroglyphs were an interesting example of decryption and cracking an ancient code to reveal the secrets and tales it tells and enabled us to further our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture and civilisation.

The story also shows the danger of a respected few coming up with a theory and everyone else trying to crack a code based on that theory. If that theory or idea is wrong, then you will never succeed even if you try every single combination under that theory.

The idea was that the language of hieroglyphics worked through symbolism - for instance the sun might represent a phrase or idea, likewise the head of an eagle, a lion and so on - that they were all symbols. Therefore this came down to a case of code cracking and trying to interpret the message from the symbols.

It was only through some lateral thinking and starting to think of it as though it were actually phonetic in the main, and learning a few quirks about dropping vowels and using some rebus images, that the code could be cracked.

Through finding references to pharaohs through cartouches and working up from there, famously working out the hieroglyphs for ra-m-s-s (rameses) that the code was cracked and hieroglyphs were able to speak to us once more.

By: Fred

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