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Hieroglyphs for Travelers Spiral-bound – September 24, 1999

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Public Management Associates (September 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939968029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939968022
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,227,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


For those intending to journey to Egypt (one and a half million travelers a year), one piece of "required reading" will be Hieroglyphs for Travelers by Thomas F. Mudloff and Ronald E. Fellows ($14.95; 120 pages; fully illustrated). I recently returned from Egypt where this cargo-pocket-sized volume delivered on its promises and more. Mudloff and Fellows began with the premise that some basic knowledge of hieroglyphic Egyptian is attainable, even for the most harried traveler to Egypt. As someone who has completed both of the Oriental Institutes hieroglyphics courses and labored through Gardiner and Hoch, I was looking for a portable piece capable of filling in some of the blanks for me when I stood face-to-face with temple texts. Clearly I wanted a blend of serious scholarship, context, important textual glosses, a sign list, and formulaic challenges that would stretch my knowledge. All in something that I could stuff into my expedition pants pocket. I knew I could put this volume to the test--and did--from the Giza Plateau to the Temple of Isis at Philae. The book met the test for a host of reasons, not the least of which was the fact I had both historical perspective and linguistic tool in one small volume.

Some highlights (especially for those new to hieroglyphic Egyptian), 1)in three pages, the book provides the most common royal epithets and other useful words and abbreviations, 2)illustrations and hieroglyphs of the major deities, and 3)interesting variation in the choices of sample translations and exercises. Plus, unlike Gardiner, Mudloff and Fellows provide translations/keys to the exercises. I have to conclude that the authors chose texts and exercises with the purpose of teaching or expanding vocabulary as one visited more and more monuments. Hieroglyphs for Travelers is concise, informative, amusing, and an excellent replacement for weighty tomes. -- William F. Vartorella, Ph.D.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Francesca Jourdan on January 27, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound
Through this wonderful compact book and its exercises, readers are able to identify the names of pharaohs and their queens. They will actually translate curses and other inscriptions, and will be transported to Egypt with short visits of the pyramids, the sphinx, the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, the Temple of Hatsheptsut at Deir el-Bahri, the Colossi of Memnon, the Luxor and Karnak temples among many other monuments. In only 120 pages, the authors briefly explain the ancient Egyptian religion and the most important gods and goddesses. They also deal with hieroglyphs and their spelling and translation, reading numbers, and even a little hieroglyphic grammar. There is an answer page that provides a key to the various exercises. A short bibliography and chronology are provided at the end. With several black and white illustrations, this book is a must for any trip to this fascinating land, whether accompanied by a guide or alone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2000
Format: Spiral-bound
"~Recently completed a first time trip of 15 days to Egypt. The trip was hosted by Ron Fellows of the Archaeological Institute of America. and co-arthor of the book Hieroglyphs for Travelers. Hieroglyphs for Travelers is a fun and handy tool to unravel the writings that date back 5000 years in ancient Egypt. Fascinating stuff! Get the book it will make your trip even more enjoyable. Happy trips to Egypt. Zane Miller--Dallas, Texas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 28, 2001
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Based on the recommendation on this website, I took this book to Egypt this past summer 2001, and was glad I did. By learning to recognize just a few hieroglyphs and pharaoh names (Ramesses II kept popping up!) the different sites seemed to come alive. I was not just touring famous sites and being lectured too, I was attempting to understand the sites myself. It was really a great feeling. Our tour guide (a PhD student) asked to see the book that he saw me peering into almost every day. And, yes, the copy was sturdy and lasted from Abu Simbel to the interior of the Great Pyramid. Although my cargo pants were not large enough to acommodate it - the book was about 1/2 inch too wide. (Maybe that's the difference between male and female pants?) I thought seriously about trimming the pages so it would fit, but never got around to it.
I had not studied any hieroglyphs before, but this book was great even for me. Pretty easy to understand the basics. I wasn't expecting to decipher the Rosetta stone; I just wanted a chance to see if I could recognize something!
If you really want to be engaged in your tour, rather than be a passive tourist, take this with you.
I only gave it 4 out of 5, however, because I did find a couple of editorial mistakes, and they were not clear about how even the simplest pharoah names could vary, but that's not a big deal.
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