This article discusses some aspects of the way the ancient Egyptians classified their world. The Egyptian method of representation aimed at showing things as they existed in the imagination of the artist who accordingly rendered them as they ‘really were’, and not as they were seen, that is, without having recourse to foreshortening, shadow, perspective. What is stored is a mental image of the prototype or ‘genus’ of the object. Linguistic and pictorial material provide evidence of the existence of inalienable properties of a given mental picture. Another set of components is the interactional properties. Both are grounded in the basic experience of the perceptual, motor and intellectual apparatus of the body. Their distribution is overlapping, because the factual inalienability of its own members is one of the first experiences of a child. While some aspects of the conceptual system and categorization grow out of this immediate experience, others can only be understood in terms of other types of experience, such as metaphors in the sense of Lakoff and Johnson. Hieroglyphs and art are discussed in terms of the notion of metaphorical structuring.