The Meroitic (also Meroïtic) script was used between the 3rd century BC and the 6th century AD in the Kingdom of Kush, in what is now Sudan. After the introduction of Christianity to the area, Meroitic writing was replaced by Coptic. The Meroitic language was written using two writing systems, a cursive form and a hieroglyphic form.
Meroitic hieroglyphs were derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs, apparently borne of a desire for a monumental version of cursive writing. It is also thought that the creation of a hieroglyphic form was due to a desire to access the magical powers associated with Egyptian hieroglyphs.
There is no one-to-one relationship between the cursive and hieroglyphic Meroitic scripts. The number of symbols in the hieroglyphic set is greater than that in the cursive set, with some being homophonous, that is, representing the same sound.