Cartouches are of an oval shape and
the names of royal persons in
inscriptions, thus further symbolising
as a ruler of all that the sun
Ancient Egyptians used writing to
information about a person shown on a
or relief, naming such writing ‘divine
because they believed that Thoth, the
wisdom, had taught them how to write.
The modern term hieroglyphs means
carvings’ and was already used by
visitors to Egypt to describe the
they saw on tombs and temple walls.
The number of hieroglyphic signs
to over 7000 in total, though not all of
used on a regular basis.
First developed in about 3250 BC,
were still used in the early centuries
Christianity but gradually became less
understood except by temple priests.
By the time Egypt officially became a
country in the 4th century AD,
completely fallen out of use. The
language continued to be spoken, but was
written in an alphabetic script called
When the Arabs conquered Egypt in the
century AD, they introduced the Arabic
spoken and written language, which is
by Egyptians today.
The cartouche is of Ptolemy II.