Hieroglyphs Without Mystery: An Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Writing

Overview

Marveling over the tomb treasures of Ramses II and Tutankhamen that have toured U.S. and European museums in recent years, visitors inevitably wonder what the mysterious hieroglyphs that cover their surfaces mean. Indeed, everyone who is fascinated by ancient Egypt sooner or later wishes for a Rosetta stone to unlock the secrets of hieroglyphic writing.

Hieroglyphs without Mystery provides the needed key. Written for ordinary people with no special language skills, the book ...

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Overview

Marveling over the tomb treasures of Ramses II and Tutankhamen that have toured U.S. and European museums in recent years, visitors inevitably wonder what the mysterious hieroglyphs that cover their surfaces mean. Indeed, everyone who is fascinated by ancient Egypt sooner or later wishes for a Rosetta stone to unlock the secrets of hieroglyphic writing.

Hieroglyphs without Mystery provides the needed key. Written for ordinary people with no special language skills, the book quickly demonstrates that hieroglyphic writing can be read, once a few simple principles are understood. Zauzich explains the basic rules of the writing system and the grammar and then applies them to thirteen actual inscriptions taken from objects in European and Egyptian museums. By following his explanations and learning the most commonly used glyphs, readers can begin to decode hieroglyphs themselves and increase their enjoyment of both museum objects and ancient Egyptian sites.

Even for the armchair traveler, learning about hieroglyphs opens a sealed door into ancient Egyptian culture. In examining these inscriptions, readers will gain a better understanding of Egyptian art, politics, and religion, as well as language.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292798045
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 121
  • Product dimensions: 6.21 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Translator's Preface
1. Generalities
1.1. Not for Geniuses Only
1.2. Beauty as a Rule for Spelling
1.3. Pictures but Not Picture Writing
1.4. How Egyptologists Speak Egyptian
1.5. What Is Transliteration?

2. The Writing System
2.1. The Egyptian Alphabet
2.2. Biliteral Signs
2.3. The Phonetic Complement
2.4. Triliteral Signs
2.5. Ideograms (Sense-Signs)
2.6. Determinatives
2.7. Graphic Peculiarities and Abbreviations
2.8. Complication and Simplification
2.9. A Little Grammar
2.9.1. Grammatical Gender
2.9.2. The Plural and the Dual
2.9.3. Genitive Constructions
2.9.4. Suffix Pronouns
2.9.5. Adjectives
3. Examples

3.1. An Architrave of Sahure
3.2. A Glazed Tile from the Palace of
Ramesses II at Qantir
3.3. Lintel from a Temple or Palace of Ramesses II
3.4. Fragment of a Tomb Wall
3.5. A Wooden Box from the Treasures of
Tutankhamun
3.6. Tutankhamun's Alabaster Chest
3.7. The Alabaster Cup of Tutankhamun
3.8. A Canopic Coffin of Tutankhamun
3.9. The Canopic Chest of Tutankhamun
3.10. Vignette from a Book of the Dead
3.11. The False Door of Khut-en-Ptah
3.12. The Tomb Stela of Tashep-Khonsu
3.13. The Hieroglyphs on the Cover: A Temple
Inscription

4. Conclusion

4.1. Selected Royal Names
4.2. Names of Gods
4.3. Further Study of Hieroglyphs

5. Appendixes

5.1. Solutions to the Problems
5.2. Books on Egyptian Vocabulary and Grammar
5.3. Hieroglyphic Sign List

5.4. Museum Numbers and Photo Credits for the Objects Discussed

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