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How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition Revised Edition
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You need no previous experience reading hieroglyphs to benefit from this book. This is a hieroglyphs guide for the layperson, tourist, or museum enthusiast who'd like to have more of a clue when it comes to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs. Focusing on the funerary symbols one would be likely to see in Egypt or at a museum, and illustrated with hieroglyphs that are on display in the British Museum (drawn by Richard Parkinson, curator in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum), How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs makes possible a deeper appreciation not just of museum displays but of the Egyptian culture that used this writing system.
Both experts in Egyptology (Collier teaches Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, and Manley teaches the subject at the University of Glasgow), they explain how most hieroglyphs are used to convey the sound of the ancient Egyptian language, then go on to teach, in easily digestible segments, the basic phonograms (sound-signs) used in inscriptions a traveler or museum-goer would be most likely to encounter. Each chapter teaches a new portion of hieroglyphic script and a new aspect of the Middle Egyptian grammar, with a section to practice the new reading skills and exercises to solidify the lessons taught. It provides a wonderful opportunity to sit at home and learn about the pharaonic administration, ancient Egyptian family life, and the Egyptian way of death, while building a firm understanding of the most common features of hieroglyphs. --Stephanie Gold
From 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
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Now, something that did somehow take the smile off my face was that a couple of the beautiful golden letters that spell "hieroglyphs" in the front cover started peeling away after three or four days. It's not enough to actually take away some of my fondness towards the book, but it is indeed something that should be noted. However, I know this is not the authors' fault and so I will not take it into account when giving out the stars because this book is really too good to give it something less than 5 stars.
You won't be proficient at grammar, and since it only uses genuine examples, I felt like there were a few places where the author could have constructed examples to illustrate a grammatical concept. There were times towards the end where I know I had some outstanding questions.
Overall I enjoyed it, and it was nice for a first attempt. I will be moving on to other books after this to dig deeper into the grammar.
This book will start you off slowly and work you all the way up to advance stages. You can read this book alone and will have more knowledge than some of those who actually think they are advanced. Mark Collier does an exceptional job at covering a difficult language like Egyptian Hieroglyphs and presenting it in the simplest form and if you are a beginner, you can't ask for more. You won't find another one like this.
After studying this book as well as Charles E. Nichol's, I highly, highly recommend "Middle Egyptian Second Edition By James P. Allen". His book is the very best on the Hieroglyphs. Keep in mind that his is for the advanced even though He does go back over the beginning stages to bring you up on the subject. Those students majoring in Egyptology in Universities as Stanford, University of California Berkeley, Cal Poly, and the Ivy League would study his book. So you definitely can't go wrong.
I studied the first three chapters then scanned and combined the tables in the back of the book into a two-sided, one-page cheat sheet to carry with me into the tombs. It made my trip much more enjoyable and people on our tour were always asking me what it said next to an interesting drawing - I could usually get at least the gist of it: "He's making an offering of beer and other things to a god...", etc.
A great example is when our tour was at Luxor, in the Temple of Karnak, and I noticed that on many of those large pillars (it's a "forest" of pillars without a roof) the hieroglyphics for "life" (the ankh) and "give" (a tiny triangle in an isosceles triangle) were repeated over and over at ever higher places as you walked around the pillar. The temple was dedicated to the god Amun Re. Suddenly, I realized the meaning: while following those words, your eyes were being lifted to Amun Re, the Sun god, who "gave life" - it was as if someone from over 3000 years ago suddenly reached out and talked to me.