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Ibn Wahshiyya (probably a Sabian star-worshiper from Persia) wrote a book about ancient alphabets.
He compared writing written in Egyptian hieroglyphs to writing written in a language similar to that used by Coptic priests of his day, and decoded the meaning of many of the words.
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Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet
Ibn Wahshiyya (probably a Sabian star-worshiper from Persia) in the late 9th century wrote a book about ancient alphabets and Egyptian hieroglyphics.
A Muslim website states that he made use of a text written in a language similar to the language used by Coptic priests of his day, and decoded the meaning of many of the words. An English translation of Ibn Wahshiyya’s book is at at http://books.google.com/books?id=dg8GAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA21&focus=viewport&output=html_text
He also translated a book from Babylonian Aramaic into Arabic about agriculture, magic, sorcery and the Sabean belief that Adam had parents and was born in India. The book praised Babylonian civilization and expressed a low opinion of the Muslim Arab conquerors.
He also wrote about astrology.
Image by Ibn Wahshiyya, via Wikimedia Commons
image credit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ibn_Wahshiyya%27s_985_CE_translation_of_the_Ancient_Egyptian_hieroglyph_alphabet.jpg