Once the prayer, which may already have existed in spoken form, was put into writing, it became the basic element around which tomb-texts and representations were organized.Similarly, the ever lengthening lists of an official's ranks and titles were infused with life when the imagination began to flesh them out with narration, and the Autobiography was born.
American author William Faulkner stated in his Nobel Prize address that he wrote "to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before" (1).
This same motivation has been expressed in different words by many writers over the centuries, but before any of them even existed the ancient Egyptians understood this concept well.
The first actual extant evidence of Egyptian writing, however, comes from tombs in the form of Offering Lists in the Early Dynastic Period.
Death was not the end of life for the ancient Egyptians; it was only a transition from one state to another.
However much Thoth had to do with giving humans their system of writing (and, to the Egyptians, 'humanity' equaled ' Egyptian'), the ancient Egyptians had to work out for themselves what this gift was and how to use it.
Sometime in the latter part of the Predynastic Period in Egypt (c. 3150 BCE), they began to use symbols to represent simple concepts.The problem with a pictogram, however, is that the information it contains is quite limited.One may draw a picture of a woman and a temple and a sheep but has no way of relaying their connection. Is the sheep an offering she is leading to the priests or a gift to her from them?Someone who had performed great deeds, held a high position of authority, or led troops to victory in battle were due greater offerings than another who had done relatively little with their lives.Along with the list was a brief epitaph stating who the person was, what they had done, and why they were due such offerings.(3) Hieroglyphics developed out of the early pictographs.People used symbols, pictures to represent concepts such as a person or event.The Egyptians believed that if something were comitted to writing it could be repeatedly "made to happen" by means of magic.(199) This concept is not as strange as it might first appear.Any writer knows that one often has no idea what one wants to say until the end of the first draft, and every avid reader understands the "magic" of discovering unknown worlds between the covers of a book and making that magic happen again each time the book is opened.David's reference to "concepts or events" coming into existence through writing is a common understanding among writers.