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Revision as of 17:40, February 7, 2019



A hieroglyph is a character from Egyptian hieroglyphs, the written language of ancient Egypt of the planet Earth. Each character is a pictograph representing a concept, a different approach than the pairing of abstract symbols used in English.

Egyptian hieroglyphics were grouped by parenthetical separators called cartouches to denote complete ideas. Their meaning had been lost to time until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a tablet containing the same sentences written in hieroglyphics and Greek. (DS9 - Mission Gamma novel: Cathedral)

The meaning expanded to refer to other pictographic languages besides those found in Egypt.


In 2151, Hoshi Sato attempted to translate 14 hieroglyphs seen on a pyramid-shaped marker buoy before it self-destructed. (ENT novel: What Price Honor?)

In 2262, Spock estimated that translating the Kan'ess hieroglyphic alphabet might take weeks. (TOS novel: Burning Dreams)

Lee Kelso was an amateur expert on Egyptian culture. In 2264, he could could distinguish between the first hieroglyphics and coptic graffiti developed three centuries earlier. (TOS novel: Strangers from the Sky)

In 2266, when Nyota Uhura attempted to translate panels of a runic script, she noted that they were similar to hieroglyphics, but decided the symbols were phonetic rather than pictorial. (TOS - The Janus Gate novel: Future Imperfect)

In 2267, on Earth a Carthian spacecraft marked with hieroglyphics was discovered lashed to a Confederate States of America sea-going vessel CSS Raleigh. (SNW short story: "Shanghaied")

In 2268, Ensign Selena Karras was able to translate Dombraatu hieroglyphs and find a cure for a poison afflicting Spock. (TOS novel: Legacy)

In 2270, archeologists Elsa Hoff and Paul Hoff discovered hieroglyphics from an apparently lost civilization on Abaris within a buried pyramid. They spend three years researching and translating the symbols, eventually discovering Abaris natives who were descendants of the lost culture. (TOS comic: "Aberration on Abaris")

In 2293, Leonard McCoy thought the Fabrini's written language looked like hieroglyphics with soup and ink spilled on it. (TOS novel: Best Destiny)

In 2368, Jean-Luc Picard inspected hieroglyphics carved on a tower wall in an excavation site on Atropos. A team of Vulcan archeologists spent ten years at the site before they were murdered, with any translation erased. (TNG novel: The Devil's Heart)

In 2371, Picard investigated hieroglyphics from the American southwest region turning up in caverns on the planet Equinox. He discovered a cave containing a long distance transporter and that a group of Hopi once lived in the cave hundreds of years earlier. (SNW short story: "The Peacemakers")

In 2372, Harry Kim translated hieroglyphics on 10,000 year-old pillars in an abandoned city on Urrytha. Without access to USS Voyager's computer, he worked in concert with the universal translator. Some of the information turned out to be dates, which helped him determine that the pillars contained bodily remains. The writing described passage to the afterlife. Eventually, more complete translations were made available with the addition of a tricorder. (VOY novel: Chrysalis)

Hieroglyphic languages

Realm DialectKlingon hieroglyph

Cultures with hieroglyphic languages

Abaris nativeAnu'ansheeBeta PrometheanCarthianDombraatuGornHuman (Aztec, Egyptian, Hopi, Mayan, Native American, Sumerian) • Kan'essSlaverUrrythanVulcan

Locations of hieroglyphics

Abaris (pyramid) • ArgoAtroposBeta CabriniBeta PrometheusEarth (The City of the DeadArizonaGreat Pyramid) • EquinoxFerenginar (Caverns of Sogg) • Octavius IVRyolanovScepter of Ket'chaVulcan (T'lingShar) • Vulcan (mirror) (The Stone of Gol) • Urrytha




External links

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