A hieroglyph can refer to almost all pictorial writing systems, such as those of ancient Sumer/Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, the Indus Valley and other eastern Mediterranean areas. However, it most commonly refers to the Egyptian writing system. The term "hieroglyph" is derived from the Classical Greek words for "sacred writing", used to describe the Egyptian hieroglyphs that were commonly used in temples and known only to the scribes.


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