100 books like How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs

By Mark Collier, Bill Manley, Richard Parkinson (illustrator)

Here are 100 books that How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs fans have personally recommended if you like How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

Egyptologist Salina Ikram is the foremost expert on Egyptian animal mummies. She has performed mummification on numerous animals in order to better understand the ancient Egyptian process of mummification. This book is by a number of egyptologists. It is academic, but not difficult to understand. It gives information on different animals that were mummified, and the context in which they were discovered.

By Salima Ikram (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Divine Creatures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The invention of mummification enabled the ancient Egyptians to preserve the bodies not only of humans but also of animals, so that they could live forever. Mummified animals are of four different types: food offerings, pets, sacred animals, and votive offerings. For the first time, a series of studies on the different types of animal mummies, the methods of mummification, and the animal cemeteries located at sites throughout Egypt are drawn together in a definitive volume on ancient Egyptian animal mummies. Studies of these animals provide information not only about the fauna of the country, and indirectly, its climate, but…


Book cover of Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

Egyptologist Bob Brier is the foremost expert on Egyptian mummies. He is famous for actually mummifying a human body as a science experiment, with Dr. Ronn Wade in 1994. This was the first time a human was mummified in 2000 years. This is a popular book, entertaining, but accurate. He covers everything we know about ancient Egyptian mummification. 

By Bob Brier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Egyptian Mummies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Egyptian Mummies results from research done in preparation for the mummification of a human body, the first to be done in the Egyptian style in two thousand years. Through these studies, noted Egyptologist Bob Brier has unearthed the gripping stories of grave robberies and stolen mummies, the forgotten language of the pharaohs, and the tombs of the royal mummies. In an easily accesible and lively style, Brier uncovers the complete historical context of ancient Egyptian culture and offers a fascinating contemporary interpretation of it. Illuminating their mysteries, myths, sacred rituals, and heiroglyphic writing, Egyptian Mummies brings the ancients to life.


Book cover of Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

This book is not about learning to read hieroglyphs so much as about understanding the relationship between hieroglyphs and Egyptian art. As hieroglyphs are pictures, the same pictures can be used in an artwork, as opposed to a written text. The author takes 100 of the over 700 hieroglyphs used in Egyptian writing, and shows how they are used in Egyptian art. He dedicates 2 pages to each symbol, with a written description and illustrations.

Book cover of Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

The late Egyptologist David O’Connor was the foremost authority on the ancient site of Abydos Egypt, and supervised excavations there for over 40 years. I worked on seven excavations in Abydos and knew Dr. O’Connor personally, a lovely man, whom everyone respected. Abydos was the cult center of Osiris, the god of the dead. There were numerous tombs and temples built in this area, one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt.

By David O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abydos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Abydos is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic sites in southern Egypt. As both the burial place of the first pharaohs and a cult centre for the god Osiris, it was of immense importance to the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years, from nearly 3000 BC until the early centuries ad, and continues to yield spectacular discoveries. In this volume, David O'Connor, the world's greatest authority on Abydos, provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive account of the site's extraordinary history and tells the story of his own excavations there. This book will be of interest both to students and…


Book cover of The Keys of Egypt: The Obsession to Decipher Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Angela Cecil Reid Author Of Nile Cat

From my list on deciphering ancient Egypt.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by a family mystery. Names such as Howard Carter, Tutankhamun, and Didlington Hall permeated my childhood along with phrases such as ‘a mummy’s curse’ and ‘financial disaster’. Something had happened years before I was born, which no one would discuss. As an adult I decided to search for the truth, and on the way found inspiration to fulfil a long held ambition, which was to write. I discovered that my family had played a vital, but often forgotten, role in Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun. Our story is of wealth lost, extraordinary characters, passion and tragedy, but through it all Egypt winds like a twist of golden thread.

Angela's book list on deciphering ancient Egypt

Angela Cecil Reid Why did Angela love this book?

This was one of the first books I read when I began researching my family’s passion for Egypt, and it was one of the most interesting.

When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 his troops were astonished to find countless ruins, covered with hieroglyphs – but what did they mean? Being able to read the ancient texts would be the key to unravelling many of the mysteries of ancient Egypt. Determined to be the first to do so was 16-year-old Jean-Francois Champollion, the brilliant son of an impoverished bookseller. This book is a true story of adventure, obsession, and triumph over extreme adversity, and is well worth reading.

By Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Keys of Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A vivid and superbly written account of the unravelling of one of the great intellectual puzzles, set against the backdop of Europe in the Napoleonic era.

When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, his troops were astonished to discover ancient temples, tombs and statues, all covered with hieroglyphs - the last remnants of an unreadable script and a language lost in time. On their return Egyptomania spread rapidly and the quest to decipher hieroglyphs began in earnest.

Jean-Francois Champollion was obsessed with ancient languages from a very young age, and once he heard of the unreadable ancient Egyptian text he had…


Book cover of Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt

Melusine Draco Author Of The Atum-Re Revival: Ancient Egyptian Wisdom for the Modern World

From my list on exploring Ancient Egyptian Magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having first discovered the mystery of ancient Egypt as a small child via my father’s war-time souvenirs, this interest grew over the years until it became a serious magical under-taking, culminating in Initiation into the magical order of the Temple of Khem. I became Principal tutor of the Order in 1998 and published Liber Ægyptius: The Book of Egyptian Magic in the same year. I continue to teach the Egyptian Mystery Tradition to those willing to submit themselves to the exacting discipline needed to enter the priesthood, and remain a member of the Egypt Exploration Society to keep up-to-date with the current archaeological discoveries in Egypt.

Melusine's book list on exploring Ancient Egyptian Magic

Melusine Draco Why did Melusine love this book?

I’ve always struggled with reading hieroglyphics but this handbook is the perfect explanation of what each of the 600 figures mean by tracing the origins and meanings of each sign, as well as its graphic stylization. For me, it was the first book to make the symbols ‘come alive’ and it’s been an invaluable desk companion over the years – having been written by a scholar and a language expert and provides a still-vivid snapshot of the gods, the people, and the every-day life of the ancient Egyptians. There is also a complete glossary, a bibliography, and an index, providing a valuable resource for the casual reader, students, and specialists.

By Maria C. Betro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hieroglyphics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Both literal and highly lyrical, hieroglyphics bring alive a distant world, with descriptions of the natural environment, the art, the society, the religious beliefs, and even the philosophical basis of a culture that flourished 5,000 years ago. Presenting and explaining almost 600 of the figures used in the classic phase of Egypt's "sacred writing," this fascinating volume traces the origins and the meaning of each sign, as well as its graphic stylisation. An opening essay reveals the secrets of the hieroglyphic system, including its development and its structural characteristics, and emphasises the sacred, evocative, even magical power of the form,…


Book cover of Poetry and Culture in Middle Kingdom Egypt: A Dark Side to Perfection

Alejandro Jiménez Serrano Author Of Descendants of a Lesser God: Regional Power in Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt from a peripheral perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Egyptology permits me to make an approach to the human past. Although there were many different cultures from which the current society is heir, the survival of innumerable written documents from ancient Egypt together with the good conservation of the archaeological material, give us the possibility to feel closer to the humans who lived in the Nile Valley thousands of years ago.

Alejandro's book list on Ancient Egypt from a peripheral perspective

Alejandro Jiménez Serrano Why did Alejandro love this book?

Professor Parkinson's work is a magnificent analysis of the Egyptian literature of the Middle Kingdom, traditionally considered the golden age of Egyptian letters, to the new visions present in current literary studies.

This is a work that goes beyond traditional translations of the most significant texts, as it tries to contextualize them historically, culturally, and literary.

By Richard Parkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poetry and Culture in Middle Kingdom Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Middle Kingdom (c.1940-1640 BC) was a golden age of Ancient Egyptian writing. This study radically reassesses Middle Kingdom poems' cultural role, drawing on recent studies of the individual texts, some by the author, and on general developments in literary criticism to argue that they were entertainments that voiced potentially dissident views while also being integral to elite culture. The book surveys the social and ideological context of literature and proposes readings of the main tales, discourses, and teachings. An appendix surveys the entire range of surviving texts.


Book cover of The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt

Ann R. Williams Author Of Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

From my list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an archaeologist by training and a journalist by profession. During my long career as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, and now as a freelance Nat Geo book editor and author, I have often written about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. I was very lucky to be sent to Egypt on a number of occasions to write stories about sites and discoveries, and I have now come to specialize in Egyptology. I recently took an online course that taught me how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. I’m still in glyph kindergarten, but every new sign I learn is allowing me to better understand—and interpret—the culture of the pharaohs.

Ann's book list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs

Ann R. Williams Why did Ann love this book?

Want to know about magic bricks? You can look them up in this book, along with a lot of other intriguing things.

Sure, you can find descriptions online. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there in the e-sphere. It’s much better to rely on something published by the august British Museum, which has been showcasing artifacts from the ancient world since 1753. I always do.

By Ian Shaw, Paul Nicholson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This successful and highly-esteemed British Museum reference work is now republished in a new pocket-sized edition. This authoritative illustrated dictionary provides clear explanations and descriptions of the important ideas, events and personalities throughout four thousand years of Egyptian civilization. More than 600 extensively cross-referenced and comprehensively-indexed A-Z entries provide detailed information on all aspects of ancient Egypt and Nubia during the pharaonic and Graeco-Roman periods. Each entry is followed by a bibliography. The dictionary is lavishly illustrated throughout with photographs, line drawings, site plans and maps.


Book cover of The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

Jay Penner Author Of Regent Cleopatra

From my list on Cleopatra and ancient Egypt.

Why am I passionate about this?

The genre I specialize in is Ancient Historical Fiction. I have always been fascinated by history, and my vacations often involve visiting ancient ruins. I’m an avid reader on various periods of our past, especially Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, and India, and I enjoy writing about them. On the topic of Egypt and Cleopatra — Egypt is one of my favorite civilizations, and Cleopatra is one of the more interesting figures. I wanted to give her a treatment I felt she deserved—as a capable administrator, brilliant, ruthless, and fighting the circumstances of her times.

Jay's book list on Cleopatra and ancient Egypt

Jay Penner Why did Jay love this book?

Who has not heard of King Tut? Written by the discoverer of the tomb, the book is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an accomplished archeologist and a window to the fabulous riches of Egypt. Reading firsthand about what they saw and how things were placed gives us an insight into how things may have been in the last few hours of sealing the tomb. I often use such content to fuel my imagination of what might have happened.

By A.C. Mace, Howard Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

November 4, 1922. For six seasons the legendary Valley of the Kings has yielded no secrets to Howard Carter and his archeological team: "We had almost made up our minds that we were beaten," he writes, "and were preparing to leave The Valley and try our luck elsewhere; and then — hardly had we set hoe to ground in our last despairing effort than we made a discovery that far exceeded our wildest dreams."
Join Howard Carter in his fascinating odyssey toward the most dramatic archeological find of the century — the tomb of Tutankhamen. Written by Carter in 1923,…


Book cover of Tutankhamun

Ann R. Williams Author Of Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs From the Pyramids to Cleopatra

From my list on King Tut and his treasures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I studied the ancient world in college, but Egypt really got my attention when I covered the CT scanning of King Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings on January 5, 2005, for National Geographic magazine, where I was a staff writer for many years. Ancient Egypt has become one of my great passions, especially the royal successions of the 18th dynasty and the saga of King Tut. I’m currently president of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt, and I host a lecture about ancient Egypt every month for that group. I’m also studying hieroglyphs—and appreciating how the landscape comes alive now that I can read the signs.

Ann's book list on King Tut and his treasures

Ann R. Williams Why did Ann love this book?

The mother of all coffee-table books. Fabulous photos by Araldo de Luca, who’s famous for shooting Tut’s personal effects in ways that show them at their stunning best. And text written by T.G.H. James, long-time keeper of the department of ancient Egypt at the British Museum and one of the great authorities on the teenage king and his era. If I’m stuck on a gnarly detail about some of King Tut’s stuff, I turn here. I get information that I can trust, and images that allow me to see the tiniest of evocative details.

By T. G. H. James, Araldo de Luca (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tutankhamun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The purpose of this book is to describe by text and illustration the extraordinary tomb of this seemingly unimportant king of the late Eighteenth Dynasty, with its exceptional contents. An introductory chapter sets the historical scene for the reign of Tutankhamun, placing it in the context of the anciently reviled period of heresy associated with King Akhenaten, and its disintegration after his death. Tutankhamun ruled on the point of the change back to a traditional Egyptian regime, with the rehabilitation of the old gods, a change, which was consolidated after his death by his general Horemheb. A second chapter discusses…


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