How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself

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Overview

Hieroglyphs are pictures used as signs in writing. When standing before an ancient tablet in a museum or visiting an Egyptian monument, we marvel at this unique writing and puzzle over its meaning. Now, with the help of Egyptologists Mark Collier and Bill Manley, museum-goers, tourists, and armchair travelers alike can gain a basic knowledge of the language and culture of ancient Egypt.

Collier and Manley's novel approach is informed by years of experience teaching Egyptian ...

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Overview

Hieroglyphs are pictures used as signs in writing. When standing before an ancient tablet in a museum or visiting an Egyptian monument, we marvel at this unique writing and puzzle over its meaning. Now, with the help of Egyptologists Mark Collier and Bill Manley, museum-goers, tourists, and armchair travelers alike can gain a basic knowledge of the language and culture of ancient Egypt.

Collier and Manley's novel approach is informed by years of experience teaching Egyptian hieroglyphs to non-specialists. Using attractive drawings of actual inscriptions displayed in the British Museum, they concentrate on the kind of hieroglyphs readers might encounter in other collections, especially funerary writings and tomb scenes. Each chapter introduces a new aspect of hieroglyphic script or Middle Egyptian grammar and encourages acquisition of reading skills with practical exercises.

The texts offer insights into the daily experiences of their ancient authors and touch on topics ranging from pharaonic administration to family life to the Egyptian way of death. With this book as a guide, one can enjoy a whole new experience in understanding Egyptian art and artifacts around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Collier (Egyptology, Univ. of Liverpool) and Manley (Egyptology, Univ. of Glasgow) have produced a succinct and usable introduction to reading Egyptian hieroglyphics and basic Middle Egyptian grammar. From the very first chapter, the reader translates actual inscriptions from monuments using exercises and a key. Inasmuch as Egyptian hieroglyphics form a phonetic writing system, some knowledge of grammar and vocabulary is required to decipher texts. Collier and Manley's volume provides this base along with a classified list of all hieroglyphic signs used in the book and the standard transliteration system used by scholars of Egyptian philology, making it clearly preferable to Christian Jacq's Fascinating Hieroglyphics (Sterling, 1997), which features neither. Reference collections desiring more complete coverage will want Alan Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar (1957. 3d ed.) despite some obsolescence in the treatment of the verbal system; and R.O. Faulkner's Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian (1962), supplemented by David Shennum's English-Egyptian Index of Faulkner's Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian (1977), is essential for vocabulary. The current title is recommended for most reference collections, and a circulating copy is advisable for patrons who might want to undertake the study of the Egyptian language.--Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Sys., Ft. Pierce, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520239494
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2003
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 191
  • Sales rank: 280,399
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Collier is Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. Bill Manley teaches Egyptology at the University of Glasgow. Richard Parkinson is Curator in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Revised Edition

1. Hieroglyphs
2. More Uses of Hieroglyphs
3. Special Writings
4. Scenes and Captions
5. Description
6. Further Aspects of Description
7. Characterisation
8. The Future

Hieroglyphic Sign-Lists for the Exercises
Reference Tables
Egyptian-English Vocabulary
Key to the Exercises
Bibliography and Further Reading

Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    Hieroglyphic script were written using phonic symbols

    Mark Collier's How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition is really good book about teaching you hieroglyphics. Egyptian's strange, unreadable text and hieroglyphics are not easy to understand. This is because Egyptian's didn't use vowels and one hieroglyph could have multiple meanings. Hieroglyphics were not strictly symbolic or phonetic, but a mixture of both. For example, some inscriptions from an earlier period were examined and the royal names found in the oblong cartouches had a double 's' sound on the end. The symbol in the beginning appeared to be that of the sun, and could be pronounced rah. A symbol in the center seemed to be connected with the word birthday on the Greek translation of the Rosetta Stone. Using the meaning to give birth which was pronounced mes when put all together you get the name Rameses meaning The Child of the Sun God. Rameses, was one of the most famous pharaohs mentioned in the Bible. Now that you know, if you're still interested in learning Hieroglyphs, this is the book you want. The format its written in is textbookish, with exercises as well as a dictionary. A thorough starting point with the basics and working your way to a master decipherer...................Hattely

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    Great Book For Casual Learning

    I haven't gotten too far into this book yet (I'm on page 40), but I was already able to decipher some of the symbols on the funerary objects I saw at the King Tutankhamun exhibit at the De Young Museum. It is a fairly comprehensive and well-written book, with a lot of definitions and symbols to show.

    my sole complaint is that the book does not offer enough background history on the Egyptians. for example, the symbol for "two lands" would not be understood as Ancient Egyptians to be simply "two lands", but would instead mean "Lower Egypt & Upper Egypt." the book only offers a cursory explanation of this, rather than a deep and meaningful explanation of the two principle kingdoms that make up Ancient Egypt. the book also makes no mention of the simultaneous use of Hieratic in Ancient Egypt(Hieratic is a true phonetic alphabet, and eventually surpassed the use of Heiroglyphics)

    Still, despite it's shortcomings, I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn how to read Hieroglyphics. and for that sole purpose, it does a good job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2001

    Awesome!

    I Love this book it has everything i need to get started on becoming an egyptologist. Steph

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2000

    This was great!

    This is a great book for someone who is serious about learning the basics of reading hieroglyphics. There are exercises with the answers in the back of the book so that you can test yourself. It is a interesting read as well. I would recommend it to anyone.

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    Posted August 24, 2010

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    Posted August 3, 2009

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    Posted October 23, 2008

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