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.
From the back cover:
The Ancient Egyptians used a hieroglyphic writing system that still resonates today for its graphic representation of things, people, pharaohs and concepts. These hieroglyphics were discovered by adventurers and archeologists in temples, tombs and on papyrus documents, telling of the everyday life, religion and history of this 5,000-year-old civilization. Some of the symbols were simple but represented something with a wider significance, such as the eye of Horus; other logographs might represent an animal, such as a snake, elephant or lion; while others, such as the Ba symbol of a bird with a human head, represented the human soul with the ability to travel to the afterlife using wings. The language grew and over time came to represent every facet of Ancient Egyptian life. This book allows the reader to piece together and read the symbols, to understand their meanings and use, and examines what they have taught the world about this most influential of early civilizations. In Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated, we learn more of the story of this rich ancient language and its development over thousands of years, and the story of their decipherment after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. The book explores the key logograms for popular concepts such as ‘sun’, ‘house’ and ‘mountain’, as well as more complex ideas such as Ajet, or ‘sun rising over mountains’; marvel at Tutankhamun’s full name as marked on his tomb, which is portrayed using a reed, a wave of water, a falcon, an ankh symbol, and a series of staffs; learn about the two outstretched arms of the Ka symbol, which represents the mortal life and soul of a person. Each of the graphically illustrated entries is accompanied by a description of the written form and an explanation of its meaning. Presented in a high-quality Chinese-bound format with accompanying illustrations, Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Illustrated provides a compact, easy-to-understand introduction to the writing system of Ancient Egypt.