Egyptian hieroglyphs (pron.: /ˈhaɪər.ɵˌɡlɪf/HYR-o-GLIF, /ˈhaɪ.roʊˌɡlɪf/) HY-roh-GLIF) were a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that combined logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood. Less formal variations of the script, called hieratic and demotic, are technically not hieroglyphs.
Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power during the New Kingdom, in the Ramesside period where it rivalled the Hittite Empire, Assyrian Empire and MitanniEmpire, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign powers (such as the Canaanites/Hyksos, Libyans, Nubians, Assyria, Babylonia, Persian rule and MacedonianGreece) in the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt and Late Period. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great's death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This GreekPtolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.