Egyptian culture is divided from us by several millennia, a lost people, and a dead language. We can discover much about this fascinating civilization from its physical remains, but perhaps the greatest insights into the Egyptian mind come from Egyptian hieroglyphs. They reveal the priorities, concerns and beliefs of the Egyptians - a whole worldview. Unlike the western alphabet, which is an arbitrary set of symbols not anchored in reality, each Egyptian hieroglyph visually denotes a concept central to Egyptian thinking. The language and its written form is intimately bound up with the imaginative world of the Egyptians. Here, Barry Kemp presents 100 of the Egyptian hieroglyphs to provide access to this unique culture. Kemp takes us on a journey through the Egyptian mind, revealing not only aspects of day to day life in Ancient Egypt, but gradually building a picture of the historical and mythological references that were the cornerstones of Egyptian thought. This fascinating book helps us get inside a long-vanished world.
Barry Kemp is Reader in Egyptology at the University of Cambridge. For many years he has directed excavations and survey at Tell el-Amarna. His previous books include Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation.