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

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  16 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published July 20th 2003 by University of California Press (first published June 20th 2003)
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I studied from this book in preparation for a trip to Egypt and was amazed at my progress. While in Egypt (and at museums elsewhere since) I was able to read and understand writing on sarcophagi, tomb walls, etc. Learning with this book requires a bit of dedication and a willingness to practice but the effort sure pays off – I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for him- or herself.
Gareth Hughes
This is a very clever little book. I read it, went to the British Museum's Egyptology Collection and could read the hieroglyphs fairly well. The authors are from the BM, but present the Egyptian in modern way for the beginner. The chapters are well-paced, and you can work your way through them by yourself. Egyptian isn't the easiest language to learn, but this book certainly helps.
Easy to follow with useful practical exercises, the layout of the book introduces hieroglyphs step by step building the reader's knowledge up progressively. Also a very handy reference guide once you have the basic skills to work through translations outside those provided by the authors.
I actually could not finish this book, but it is not the fault of the authors. What they have attempted here is both remarkable and praiseworthy. The half of the book (little more than half, but it's not important) I did read was well presented and interesting. This is only applicable to me personally, but I think I would have been more successful using this as a textbook for a class about hieroglyphs.

Learning this information on a library loan with a deadline is not conducive to actually getti...more
I must confess that I still haven't learned how to do this. But I don't think I can blame the book, which I bought on impulse a few years ago in the British Museum shop.
Didn't think much of this one. Tried to be too simple and too full of grammar and tenses at the same time. I gave up and went back to Gardiner.
The comprehensive coverage of formulaic inscriptions in this book makes it an excellent starting point for anyone attempting to translate Egyptian texts, where the most accessible specimens are kept in museums and are predominantly funerary in nature. Some basic grammar is covered, and the reference lists and dictionary at the back are immensely useful when you need quick refreshers on grammatical constructions, or need to look up a word or phrase in a hurry.

I suggest reading this before or toge...more
Michael Snuffin
This book looked promising. I wanted to learn to read hieroglyphs, and the authors, both prominent Egyptologists, have taught this material for many years. Sounds like a good match, right? It didn’t play out that way.

I had problems right off the bat with the first section of chapter one. The text presents the Egyptian alphabet, a list of one-consonant signs, but does not identify what any of the signs actually represent. I really felt that I needed to know what the signs meant as ideograms in or...more
The review system is a little bit difficult to use here.

This book is an excellent and concise resource for anyone interested in learning the logic and means by which written word was communicated. Although I only did the exercises in the beginning chapters, the structure was still attainable without requiring me to be a linguist.
A good introduction to the joy of 'glyphs with lots of real examples to translate and a focus on some of the more common formulaic inscriptions (to equip you for the museums of the world to show off your swanky knowledge of dead languages).
If you want to be able to read the stuff you see in museums, this will give you a basic understanding of how the inscriptions are set up and what are the basic elements to look for.
The best guide to ancient Egyptian that I have come across. Uses actual Egyptian artifacts as examples!
This is a book that I will always be reading and studying. Very good practice and learning tool.
May 30, 2012 Brent marked it as to-read
Recommended to Brent by: Carlos Museum Bookshop
Shelves: history, egypt
Available at Carlos Museum Bookshop -
Ross Drew
Great introductory book into the subject.
Still can't do it. I can get just enough out of some inscriptions to impress underclassmen at the OI. Ah well.
Jun 19, 2007 Sarah marked it as to-read
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