Ancient Egyptians & Mesopotamians

Comparison of Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics.

What's cuneiform and hieroglyphics?

Cuneiform and hieroglyphics are different styles of writing. They both were very famous during Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Mesopotamian times.

The Origins

  • Hieroglyphics is found to be invented about 3,500BC
  • Cuneiform is thought to be invented between 3,400BC-3,300BC

Did you know that Cuneiform wasn't translated until the 1800's? That's pretty cool.

How were they created?


Hieroglyphics is a very picture like alphabet. It was used on many tombs, walls, and paintings. It was the first invented of the two forms of writing. The Mesopotamian's and Egyptian's were very committed to their gods, they never knew what they looked like but thought they knew through stories based down. To keep record of these stories they started to draw the pictures or symbols that they were represented by. It started to get more and more known and used.


Cuneiform is a very difficult form of writing. It was first created to keep track of the amount of money each town/city had and to keep track of how many sheep/cows someone owned. It started off as small marks that the certain individuals understood then it became formatted and finalized into the well know version of cuneiform. Cuneiform means wedged-shaped, and was written on clay.

Whats so cool about these forms of writing?


Hieroglyphics is a very interesting form of writing. Its very important as well (to the Egyptians at least). The Ancient Egyptians were the users of hieroglyphics. While looking into Ancient Egypt you can definitely tell it was important. It was just about as important as the pyramids. Without hieroglyphics we wouldn't know a lot about the Ancient Egyptians. Also, a cool thing about hieroglyphics is they had certain pictures to describe a role. So a mother would have a certain picture and daughter would have a different one.


Cuneiform was used by the Mesopotamian's. Just hieroglyphics, cuneiform is one of the earliest known ways of writing. We use writing just about everyday and for almost everything. Without it who knows where we would be or what we would be doing. It would be crazy. After translating cuneiform we got to know the stories of the Mesopotamian's. If we were to never translate it we wouldn't know as much about them.

Similarities & Differences


  • Sometimes the two forms of writing spilled into each other. Sometimes cuneiform used picture type characters and hieroglyphics combined symbols to create words.
  • Both were a form of writing.
  • Both ended up getting translated


  • Cuneiform used symbols to form words while hieroglyphics used pictures to represent words
  • Hieroglyphics changed every few years and new pictures were constintaly added, cuneiform for the most part stayed the same throughout the years (it did remove some symbols here and there too).
  • Cuneiform had around 600 or so symbols where as hieroglyphics had 1,000+

Hieroglyphic Typewriter

See what your name is in hieroglyphics!

History Project: Music and the Arts - Mesopotamia vs. Ancient Egypt