Hieroglyphs without Mystery

Hieroglyphs without Mystery: An Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Writing by Karl-Theodor Zauzich, translated and adapted by Ann Macy Roth, from University of Texas Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. There is a more recently revised edition than the one in the collection.

Karl-Theodor Zauzic Ann Macy Roth Hieroglyphs without Mystery from University of Texas Press

“Marveling over the tomb treasures of Ramses II and Tutankhamen that have toured U.S. and European museums in recent years, visitors inevitably wonder what the mysterious hieroglyphs that cover their surfaces mean. Indeed, everyone who is fascinated by ancient Egypt sooner or later wishes for a Rosetta stone to unlock the secrets of hieroglyphic writing.

Hieroglyphs without Mystery provides the needed key. Written for ordinary people with no special language skills, the book quickly demonstrates that hieroglyphic writing can be read, once a few simple principles are understood. Zauzich explains the basic rules of the writing system and the grammar and then applies them to thirteen actual inscriptions taken from objects in European and Egyptian museums. By following his explanations and learning the most commonly used glyphs, readers can begin to decode hieroglyphs themselves and increase their enjoyment of both museum objects and ancient Egyptian sites.

Even for the armchair traveler, learning about hieroglyphs opens a sealed door into ancient Egyptian culture. In examining these inscriptions, readers will gain a better understanding of Egyptian art, politics, and religion, as well as language.” — back cover