Ancient Egyptian writing uses more than 2,000 hieroglyphic characters. Each hieroglyph represents a common object in ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs could represent the sound of the object or they could represent an idea associated with the object.
A modern type of hieroglyphic writings would be a rebus. A rebus is a picture puzzle that can be "sounded out" by reading the sounds symbolized by the pictures. When these sounds are read aloud together, the statements often becomes obvious
The Egyptian Hieroglyphics Chart
(photo courtesy of Katie S.)