What a fantastic read! I love Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated as an Egyptomaniac, as an artist, and as a communicator. Trevor Naylor explains and illustrates how the complicated hieroglyphs integrated into the Egyptians’ world and how it has been carried forward to today. Symbolism and logograms have always fascinated me, how we distill large concepts into simple, easy-to-communicate forms and the Egyptians give us a master class in visual (rather than text) communication. Graphic languages is an interesting topic in and of itself, add ancient Egypt and I’m sold. If Egypt, graphic design, or languages interest you, this is one to read! Highly recommended and five out of five on the enJOYment scale.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Amber Books Lyd through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
It wasn't what I expected. Even though it was simple, the language was confusing, and I didn't understand the meaning of the symbols. In fact, I got the historical background, which was fine, but not what I wanted to know when I picked up this book. Also, I find it strange that there's no bibliography or references about how the author got the information.
Presented in a high-quality Chinese-bound format with accompanying artwork, Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated provides a compact, easy-to-understand introduction to the writing system of Ancient Egypt.
I was obsessed with ancient Egypt and hieroglyphs when I was a kid and it turns out that never went away. This was very informative and well-written.
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated is an interesting illustrated collection of line drawn hieroglyphs with explanations curated and written by Trevor Naylor. Released 14th Sept 2023 by Amber Books, it's 160 pages and is available in hardcover format. North American release is due out in early Nov, 2023.
The hieroglyphs are arranged in thematic chapters: A general introduction with history, life & land, religion & ritual, pharaohs & power, royal cartouches, gods & myths, the afterlife, key discoveries, and a chapter with facsimiles of contemporary letters.
The book is well illustrated throughout, with many colour photos and facsimiles of historical documents, illustrations, and buildings. The author writes accessibly and knowledgeably about the subject. The actual hieroglyph illustrations are simple and line drawn and would be fun to use as a study guide for learning and copying.
Five stars. Very interesting. It would make a great choice for public or school library acquisition, gift giving, and home use.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated by Trevor Naylor is a book that shows a short selection of hieroglyphs. The book is divided by subject, such as hieroglyphs that are connected to daily life or to religion. This book also includes a short introduction, which goes over the discovery of how to read hieroglyphs and how our knowledge has changed over the years.
I found this book to be a very good introduction to learning hieroglyphics. Each entry shows a drawing of a hieroglyph, the significance of the symbol, and the meaning of the hieroglyph. Many of the entries also include a picture of the hieroglyph in real life. This allows for very easy understanding. I especially appreciate the addition of the significance of the symbol, because it allows the reader to learn a snapshot of Ancient Egyptian life.
I wish the book had been longer and that there had been more real life photos of the hieroglyphs, especially since some of the descriptions mention how the hieroglyphs are used to make different words but does not show that.
I would recommend this book to people who are interested in learning hieroglyphs but are overwhelmed by it.
This is a great starting point for those with interest on the subject of Egyptian hieroglyphs, Gods and religion. A lot of times hieroglyphs are depicted on modern art with no explanation or education on the subject. If you have seen these symbols in works such as tarot or oracle cards it could serve as a reference book to know what you are looking at and working with. You will be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not that is something you choose to continue doing. If you are looking for in depth education, history or more than the basics on the subject... this book will not suffice. Prior to reading this book I did have knowledge of the Gods mentioned but a few of the symbols were new to me. It did peak my interest to search for more in depth material on the subject. This book does not read continuously. It would make a great coffee table book as the layout is a symbol and description, a photograph with reference notes underneath and historical notes each one per page. It was enjoyable and quick to get through.
A Wealth of Information
Trevor Naylor describes Hieroglyphs as an formal writing system used in ancient Egypt. He provides information on the history of the language, stating that the first early writings, referred as Old Egyptian, date to the period that ended in c. 2240 BC. and was mostly linked to recording royal and religious history, and included much of the era known as the Old Kingdom. He, further, states that the second period of language development, Middle or Classical Egyptian, lasted until c. 1990 BC. and this language had
by then achieved a sophisticated and consistent voice, which is why this is opened the period of hieroglyphs used for study.
He provides illustrations of and discusses many of the symbols and their meaning. He , also, discusses Royal Cartouches, who they were, and names a few, such as:
3. Rameses the Great
4. Alexander the Great (III)
5. Cleopatra VII
I enjoyed reading this book, especially, the section on Gods and Myths. In this section, the author states that there are a number of hieroglyphs connected to gods and their mythology is large. He discusses deities to Egyptians,
and symbols from the complex world of myth that evolved over more than 5000 years. Some of such symbols and their meaning are:
1. The Eye of Horus
2. The Eye of Ra
4. The Ankh
5. The Tyet
6. The Scarab (Dung) Beetle, and many others.
This is a fascinating book of Egyptian knowledge dealing with hieroglyphs, and I highly recommend it for anyone desiring to expand their knowledge of ancient beliefs and culture.
I found the Hyerogliphs fascinating and wanted to learn to read them. This is a good introduction to how they work and there's plenty of beautiful pictures
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine
If you have been looking for an easy to read introduction to hieroglyphs and ancient Egyptian history, then "Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated" by Trevor Naylor is just the book for you. Essentially, this book introduces a number of easy to understand hieroglyphs while explaining ancient Egyptian culture, history, religion, mythology, etc. The many photographs both enhance the explanations and inspire the imagination.
I recommend this book for anyone who finds this topic interesting. In particular, it might be a good starting point for someone preparing to visit Egypt as a tourist hoping to enhance their visit.
I thank Amber Books and Trevor Naylor for kindly providing a temporary electronic review copy of this work.
I thought this was fantastic. It is a simplified index, detailing each symbol and their meaning, with some real world examples as well. Truly fascinating. I loved it.
Clear, concise, informative…
From the illustrations to the text, I found this highly readable and very informative. I’ve read a few books on hieroglyphs over the years and this one was one of the better ones. How it was laid out – from format to groupings – invited you to read and learn as you went. The background given for each hieroglyph was interesting and had great detail with the language geared for anyone, not just an expert or scholar on the subject.
I would love more – an encyclopedia really – laid out in just this way, including any and all symbols. Having interpretations of statues and monuments – actually working through the hieroglyphs and their translation – would be icing on the cake.
I read the e-book version which I think may not have given the illustrations justice so will be looking for a print copy…
I really enjoyed this book! There was a lot of great information, and the symbols were well defined, with a lot of historical data shared.
This is one that I am going to need to add into my regular library - as it would be helpful to share with students as we work through Egyptian history.
For any Egyptophile, this is a must. Hieroglyphs are explained, illustrated, and combined with historic photos and context to create a book that is an amateur archaeologist or Egyptologist's dream. This book will lead you to further research!
Trevor Naylor’s Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated is a great expansion on beginning texts about hieroglyphs. Usually beginner guides just cover the hieroglyph equivalent of the romanized alphabet, but Naylor gives us more depth and range by discussing first the symbol (ie bee, it’s role and importance in Ancient Egypt) and then it’s meaning in Ancient Egyptian (representing both bee and honey, and the symbol of king of Lower Egypt). Naylor has a nice breakdown of chapters of where/what context hieroglyphs were used, covering everything from the everyday to royal names, to the all important afterlife. There are some really nice illustrations and photos which helped since hieroglyphs are complex.
My only nitpicks are that during his discussion of pharaoh names, that he actually break the hieroglyphs in the name down. We get the Horus name and birth name, but I actually wanted to read more about how each hieroglyph combines to make their name,
The other small issue was I wish it had a nice conclusion section. It ends so abruptly and left me wanting more!
Overall this book would be a fantastic addition for anyone interested in dipping their toes further into reading and understanding hieroglyphs better. Thank you NetGalley and @amberbooks for the ARC!