With a bit of study it is possible to quickly gain enough knowledge to recognise the names of pharaohs — useful if you are planning a trip to Egypt. This was important because it helped to translate what the hieroglyphics said and could be used to help translate other hieroglyphics as well.
Modern study of hieroglyphs flourished after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. Egyptians avoided leaving empty space. Many hieroglyphs came from nature or daily life.
After the Greeks conquered Egypt, knowledge of hieroglyphics began fading. They were very highly thought of and only the children of the wealthy got the opportunity to train as scribes. This made it possible to conclude that the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writing was a mixture of signals representing sounds, ideas and words, not a common alphabet.
With the exception of religious and funerary inscriptions, demotic gradually replaced hieratic.
In the s, Champollion established an entire list of Egyptian symbols with their Greek equivalents and was the first Egyptologist to realize that the symbols were not only alphabetic but syllabic, and in some cases determinative, meaning that they depicted the meaning of the word itself.
For example, the adjective bnj, "sweet", became bnr. Over time, two other Egyptian scripts, hieratic and demotic, developed.
They help make the meaning of words clearer and mark the end of words.