Egyptian Mythology


What language did the ancient Egyptians speak?

It is generally believed that the early ancient Egyptian language was an Afro-Asiatic one, once called Hamito-Semitic. This language developed, as in most cultures, over the centuries into a middle and then late form, with the earlier form being used, as Latin was in Europe and Ancient Sumerian was in Mesopotamia, for religious and other formal purposes. A demotic form of Egyptian became known as Coptic and is used today only in the liturgies of the Christian-Coptic church, Arabic having displaced Egyptian as the language of the people.

The Rosetta Stone, housed at the British Museum, was a valuable key in deciphering hieroglyphs because the inscription, which has to do with a decree passed by a council of priests, is written in several languages.


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