Write Your Own Egyptian Hieroglyphs : Names * Greetings * Insults * Sayings - the exhibition catalogue from British Museum available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Write Your Own Egyptian Hieroglyphs : Names * Greetings * Insults * Sayings

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A handy and colourful illustrated guide to reading, writing and understanding ancient Egyptian names, epithets, titles and phrases

The Egyptians believed that the creator god Ptah brought the world into being by naming everything in it. Names had great power, and kings often over-wrote their own names on the monuments of earlier rulers. A person’s name was a vitally important part of them, and the Egyptians were very concerned that their names should be recorded, remembered and spoken. Criminals and those who had fallen out of favour could be punished - wiped out of history - by having their names destroyed or defaced.

The hieroglyphic script provided a beautiful, flexible and expressive means to write the names of humans, gods and animals. 

After the introduction, which explains how the book is to be used and discusses the importance of naming in Ancient Egypt, McDonald discusses the hieroglyphic script, briefly explaining how it was deciphered before looking at how the script works in practice. She covers directions of writing, the order of hieroglyphs, the sound of ancient Egyptians, the different types of scripts which were used and then explains how the hieroglyphic script actually functions by combining sound and meaning signs. She wraps up the chapter with a small exercise which asks the reader to write their own name using symbols from the single consonant sign list and a selection of determinatives, both of which she provides.

A great place to start for those interested in learning more about Egyptian hieroglyphs.

  • Author: Angela McDonald
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Date published: April 2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0714119762
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 20.2 cm

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