Category Archives: Egyptology

Review of Collier and Manley’s How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs A Step – By Step Guide to Teach Yourself Revised Edition

I’ve had this book since 2005. When I originally purchased the book, it seemed a bit too daunting to me. I started on chapter 1 but got stuck on what I thought was a difficult concept. After completing Manley’s Hieroglyphs for Complete Beginners, this book seemed much more approachable. In May of 2017, I started studying with a free online group called GlyphStudy. As of May 2018, I’ve completed all the exercises in the book. Language study with a group is more motivating than going at it alone. Collier and Manley’s book is not a full grammar but it does teach a lot of vocabulary, various verb forms, cartouches, and focuses on the offering formula. This book is well worth your time. Most of the translation material comes from the British Museum, some of it not on public display. You translate several stela and other objects in the book. Specifically translated are: the roasting scene from the rock tombs at Meir, the Abydos king list, BM EA 586, BM EA 567, BM EA 162, BM EA 585, BM EA 101, BM EA 581, the fishing and fowling scene from Senbi at Meir 1 pl 2, the coffin of Nakhtankh BM EA 35285, BM EA 571, BM EA 1671, BM EA 614, BM EM 143 Stela of Nakhti, and others. If you are interested in translating items you will likely see in museums but don’t want to do a full college-level grammar than this book is great. It provides an answer key in the back which is a great way to check your work. I still think Manley’s other title is where I would start from scratch, but this is the best next step.

Attempt a English in Egyptian Letters

Here is my attempt at the names Collier and Manley and the numbers 2017 in hieroglyphs. I’m adding it to the Stela of Ameny for completing C &M 2017. The letters are Q, L, I, R (and) M, A, N, L, I. 2,000 + 10 + 7.

Collier and Manley 2017
Collier (and) Manley 2017 rendered in most of the Egyptian alphabet.



GlyphStudy Courses

At the sad passing of one of the long-time moderators to GlyphStudy I wanted to pause and reflect a bit more about this unique group. Started around 2005, GlyphStudy is a community of practice. No one claims to be an expert but a student of the Egyptian language. The group offers "courses" using several textbooks based on the students selection. The path I am planning to follow includes two text books:

How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Ed…

Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hie…

Each week participants complete the activities in the book and ask questions of their peers and the course moderator. There are no "tests" other than the assessment of seeing your work next to your peers and determining where things are different or off from where they need to be. If everyone is wrong the moderator offers their opinion. There are no grades except for my personal goal of completing the text book. If I were to provide an objective for the courses it would be: to complete all of the exercises in a text book with the study group.

Is this learning? I think it absolutely is. I think the key components are access to resources, other learners, a more advanced learner, and chances to practice the applicable skill.

The difference between this and a traditional college course is that there would be some certification of completion or advancement and a designated expert who would offer correction and feedback. But this group already seems to have the "expertise" of other peers. I think the real difference perhaps is getting others to recognize that these students know the language. But if students from GlyphStudy wanted universities to recognize their skills we could take a test based on the textbook and see how we did. Lots to think about but an interesting community of practice nonetheless.

Abydos King List

Ex 2.9 for GlyphStudy is to attempt identifying the cartouches on BM EA 117.

Kings first register (top) (right to left)
1. [] ? 
2. []kA
3. []mn-n-kA
4. nfr-kA-[ra] (Pepi 2, 6th Dynasty)
5. nb nfr-kA aAy
6. [Did not have time.]
7. [Did not have time.]
8. [Did not have time.]
9. s-nfr-kA
10. n-kA-ra (8th Dynasty)
11. [kA]-nfr-ra (9th Dynasty)
12. [Xt]-y (9th Dynasty)
13. []-w-ra ? 

Kings second register (middle) (right to left)
1. kAw-ra (12th Dynasty)
2. xa-xpr-ra
3. xa-kAw-ra
4. n-maAt-ra
5. maA-xrw-ra (12th Dynasty)
6. nb-pHt[ty]-ra (18th Dynasty)
7. Dr-[kA]-ra
8. aA-xpr-kA-ra
9. aA-xpr-n-ra
10. mn-xpr-ra
11. aA-xprw-ra
12. mn-xprw-ra
13. nb-maAt-ra
14. Dr-xprw-ra stp-n-ra
15. mn-pHty-ra (18th Dynasty)
16. mn-mAat-ra (19th Dynasty)
17. wsr-mAat-ra (Seti, 19th Dynasty)
18. mry-imn ra-ms-s (Seti, 19th Dynasty)

Missing: The 2nd Intermediate Period kings were not on the list. Also absent from the list are Hat-shepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamon, Horemheb, Ay, Nefrusobek and anyone else who was viewed as illegitimate.

I was also surprised that the book: Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (Chronicles)

Was missing many of the names from the 7-8 dynasties. This was likely a time of a lot of turmoil.

Reading up on the history of Egyptology

I want to read the following books after my current one.


1. John Wilson. Signs and Wonders upon Pharaoh: A History of American Egyptology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964.

Available Online:

2. Erik Iversen. The Myth of Egypt and Its Hieroglyphs in European Tradition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

3. Donald Malcolm Reid. Whose Pharaohs? Archaeology, Museums and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

4. Donald Malcolm Reid. Contesting Antiquity in Egypt: Archaeologies, Museums and the Struggle for Identities from World War I to Nasser. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2015.

5. Jason R. Thompson. Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology. Volume 1: From Antiquity to 1881. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2015.

6. Jason R. Thompson. Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology. Volume 2: The Golden Age: 1881-1914. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2015