Author Archive | Alec


It’s been a while since I’ve updated anything on this site (years?), and to be honest, there probably won’t be another update after this post. This site started as a fun project during my undergrad. I worked on it nearly every day back then, trying to make it a great study tool. It was a […]

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Someone out there likes me! Well, enough to scrape my content. Beware of

This post doesn’t have much to do with Egyptian Hieroglyphs, but it makes for an interesting story.

On a whim, I decided to check out Google’s Webmaster Tools. I don’t use the tools as often as I should, but I was interested in seeing who was linking to the site. One page stood out.


Content Scrape 1 List of the pages from my site that this site linked to.


This website linked to each of my lessons. Nothing particularly strange about that, but I decided to investigate.

I clicked the link to check out the site, but I found the page unavailable. A slight annoyance, but nothing big. I just had to use Google’s cached version. After opening the cached version, I found that the site copied a significant portion of my website. Not just a sentence here, a phrase there, but blatant, word-for-word copying. Here are a couple of screenshots from the cached version of the site:

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Egyptian Hieroglyphs’ First Giveaway: Collier and Manley’s “How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs”

Collier and Manley - How to Read Egyptian HieroglyphsIt has been a crazy few weeks with the move to Cambridge, but things are finally slowing down. There are still a few kinks to work out, but the internets have finally arrived and work on the site can resume.

I decided a giveaway would be a simple way to get back into the swing of things, and something new for the site. The item for this giveaway will be Collier and Manley’s How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself. My experience with the book is minimal (although I do own a copy and have used it), but I believe it is a good candidate for newcomers to the language and I can gauge the interest in giveaways.

Now the rules of the giveaway are simple: this post will be linked to Facebook and all you have to do is either like it or share it. That’s it! I’ll randomly select a winner from everyone who liked or shared the post on Friday July 5th and I’ll contact the winner with all the necessary details.

If you have any suggestions for future giveaways, leave a comment here or send me a message.

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The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor: Lines 9-17

As promised, here is another section of The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor, lines 9-17.

In case you missed it, you can find lines 1-8 here, and the answers are posted in the Egyptian Hieroglyphs forum. Again, if you would like to see the transliteration, transliteration, and comments, you need to register for the forums.

In the last part we were introduced to a msw iqr, “excellent follower,” who was addressing ohis superior, the “ty-.” The excellent follower speaks of the success of the expedition, emphasizing that there were no losses and they returned home safely. At this point, it is unclear who this excellent follower is or why he is addressing his superior of the success of the expedition of which he was a member. The next few lines may shed some light…

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The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor: Lines 1-8

In this article (and the following) I will be slowly working through a Middle Egyptian text. Each week I will post a few lines of the text for you to work through. You can work through them at your own pace. A translation, transliteration, as well as parsing comments will be made available in the forums each week. So, if you would like to test your translation against another, all you need to do is sign up for our forums.

Additionally, If you are getting stuck, feel free to ask your questions in the forums. Other people working through the text may have the same problem.

Eventually, once the text is completed, it will be available in full form in a new Egyptian text page that will debut later this year.

Below are the first 7 lines in The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor, good luck!

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JSesh: ATutorial for the Best, Free Hieroglyphic Editor Part 4

JSesh Tutorial Part 4In Part 3 of our tutorial series, I reproduced the hieroglyphs found in a cartouche, went through a few diiferent steps that were  to help you search for unknown hieroglyphs (Another method is the Aaou Dictionary App!), but did not organize them.

In this part of the tutorial, I will expand on Part 3 by showing you different methods for arranging individual hieroglyphs JSesh.

Basic Grouping

For the beginner, the basic commands will fulfill all your arrangement needs.

There are only 4 symbols that you need to know, and they each serve a separate grouping function. Below is a list of the symbols and their respective function.


: – Places the glyph below the previous glyph or glyph group.

* – Groups glyphs side-by-side

& – Groups glyphs together in the most appropriate blank space around a glyph.

( ) – Glyphs in parentheses can be arranged as one entity.


Lets see how these symbols in action by using the Manuel de Codage we created in the last part.

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Aaou Hieroglyphic Dictionary App: A Smart Alternative to Faulkner’s Middle Egyptian Dictionary

Aaou Egyptian Hieroglyph Dictionary App

Price: $9.99 in the App Store.

I stumbled across this app after I bought an iPhone in late 2009, and it has proved to be incredibly useful when I either can’t find a word in Faulkner’s Middle Egyptian Dictionary, or forgot the book at home.

What is the Aaou app all about?

Aaou is an Egyptian hieroglyph dictionary app created by Jean-Francois Dumon for the iPhone, iPod touch, and the Ipad.

The current version comes with over 21,000 words and is packed with a ton of features.

 The main features can be found below:

  • Aaou Main ScreenHieroglyphic dictionary, searchable through transliteration, sign filtering, or English.
  • Manuel de Codage displayed next to the word,allowing for easy reproduction in JSesh.
  • Gardiner sign list
  • Ability to filter signs depending on their shape.
  • Index of uniliterals, biliterals, and triliterals.

A quick walkthrough of Aaou

Let’s say you came across a word that you don’t recognize. You don’t even know what the first sign is, so you can’t look it up in Faulkner’s Dictionary. You’re basically stuck.

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JSesh: A Tutorial for the Best, Free Hieroglyphic Editor – Part 3

JSesh Tutorial Part 3In part 2 of our JSesh tutorial series, I covered how to create hieroglyphs using the Manuel de Codage. This is the method I prefer to use, since it is much more efficient than using the hieroglyphic palette.

In this part, I will show you how to find hieroglyphs you aren’t familiar with using the search utility in the hieroglyphic palette, and also how to arrange individual hieroglyphs in order to achieve the results you want.

Edit: Due to the length of this article, we will cover arrangement in the next part.

Pick what you want to reproduce.

So, before you begin you should probably have an idea of what you want to create. In this tutorial I’ll be using the inscription that was featured in Translate it! #1.

This example is the cartouche of Amenemhat. It’s fairly short, but may be difficult to reproduce if you’re new to JSesh.

Search for unknown hieroglyphs.

Most of these signs should be fairly familiar to you, since they are a part of the Alphabet (uniliterals). If you are having trouble identifying them now, you might want to check out Lesson 1, where uniliterals are discussed in more detail.

Two of the signs may be unfamiliar, Hieroglyph biliteral for mn and Forepart of Lion - HAt. If you can’t figure out what these hieroglyphs are, don’t worry. There are a few different methods for finding them, either through JSesh’s hieroglyphic palette or a separate sign list.

Let’s use the palette in order to find the Forepart of Lion - HAt glyph.

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JSesh: A Tutorial for the Best, Free Hieroglyphic Editor – Part 2

JSesh Tutorial Part 2In part 1 of this JSesh Tutorial series, I introduced you to the the Hieroglyphic editor, JSesh, and its most basic method for creating hieroglyphs. This method uses the Hieroglyphic palette, a useful tool in searching for specific types of hieroglyphs.

This method does not require previous knowledge of hieroglyphs, so it is the easiest method for beginners to use. Although it is easy to use, it is very time consuming.

In this part, I will introduce you to an alternate method to create hieroglyphs. This method uses the Manuel de Codage or Gardiner numbers in order to achieve the same result, only much more efficiently.

What is the Manuel de Codage?

As you have most likely noticed, sometimes the letters we use to transliterate Egyptian hieroglyphs have strange markings on them ( š, etc.). These markings are called diacritical marks, and change the sound value of the letter.

With the increased use of computers, Egyptologists needed an easy way to input transliterations into computers, and the result was the Manuel de Codage (MdC). In this system, there are no diacritical marks, so any keyboard or font is capable of creating perfectly acceptable transliterations.

Below is a chart that lists the Egyptian alphabet, its transliteration, and the corresponding Manuel de Codage value.

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