Hieratic is a cursive script used in Egyptian as early as the Archaic Period (ca. 3100 BC). Though the term is derived from the Greek grammata hieratika, meaning "priestly writing," the script was not limited to religious texts, but was used for a variety of documents, including legal, medical, personal, and literary. Typically executed with a brush on papyrus, hieratic could be written either vertically or horizontally, and was read from right to left. Although hieratic was rarely used for monumental inscriptions, hieratic texts were often written on limestone ostraka or on the surfaces of tombs and temples in the form of graffiti.
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