You updated your password.

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account. We will email you instructions on how to reset your password.

Forgot Your Email Address? Contact Us

Reset Your Password


Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Decipher the language of ancient Egypt and learn what hieroglyphs can tell us about history, accompanied by an acclaimed Egyptologist.
Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 102.
  • y_2024, m_7, d_13, h_6
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_5, tr_97
  • loc_en_CA, sid_3541, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getAggregateRating, 16.12ms
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So interesting! Really enjoy Dr. Brier's teaching style and have learned so much! Highly recommend to anyone but especially those interested in Egypt.
Date published: 2024-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have only done 4 lectures, but so far I am very much enjoying the course and feel that I am making good progress in my understanding
Date published: 2022-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Learn key basic inscriptions and basic grammar Not only will you learn basic inscriptions like the ones you will see on museum artefacts (e.g., great god, Ra, priest, god names, etc.) but you also will learn beginner grammar and Egyptian history. Don't be scared off by prices of books mentioned. There are many good sources on the internet as well as PDFs of parts of the older books. This course is outstanding!
Date published: 2022-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Dr. Bob! This is well worth the price. I am an archaeologist but I haven't been to Egypt--yet. I intend to go when this plague is over so we can travel again. I want to be able to read some of the walls for myself and this will do it for me. Thanks, Bob and Great courses. I have not been disappointed with any of the many courses I have purchased.
Date published: 2022-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Detailed This course was not exactly what I expected. Lots of time focusing on how to write and read hieroglyphs which was a little tedious and more than what I wanted to know. But, the professor's personality and enthusiasm made up for it and I ended up enjoying the course.
Date published: 2021-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs I bought this coarse two weeks ago and am enjoying every moment I spend learning this old language. I’m enjoying the history being teaches as well as the way to encode the language.This is very interesting coarse well prepared and professor Bob Brier is an excellent and talented lecturer I’m never bored and the way he teaches the coarse makes it an excellent experience and journey into a Great civilization through all its history
Date published: 2021-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating course This is an excellent course. It's not designed to make a student fluent in speaking or reading ancient Egyptian. However, the course will give you a solid introduction to the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs. When you finish the course, you will actually be able to read some of the sentences and cartouches that appear on the walls of temples and tombs. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2021-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strong Foundational Course Succinctly: superb. Bob Brier is an amazing professor. He presents the material in such a way that it challenges but does not overwhelm you. His understanding of and passion for the subject matter are apparent - and it is contagious! I never thought I would learn so much in such a short period of time. To make the most of this course, get a notebook and construct a dictionary after each lecture. Also make tables for pronouns and gender, gods and math. These will help you study and retain what you have Learned. I have since purchased each of Dr. Brier's classes and they are all well worth the money. However, I think this is his best. It has been over half a year since I completed the class and have since gone on to further my studies in Middle Egyptian. I took the class for a novelty, but have turned into a passionate enthusiast. If you read these reviews, thank you very much, Dr. Brier!
Date published: 2021-01-28
  • y_2024, m_7, d_13, h_6
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_5, tr_97
  • loc_en_CA, sid_3541, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 4.9ms


Noted Egyptologist Bob Brier's Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs is the key to unlocking this ancient language. In 24 lectures, you'll cover the basics of reading and writing hieroglyphs, including vocabulary words, number systems, and sentence structure. You'll also translate hieroglyphs found on ancient sites and artifacts, such as the temples at Abu Simbel and the tomb of Tutankhamen.


Bob Brier

To a great extent, the fun of history is in the details. Knowing what kind of wine Tutankhamen preferred makes him come alive.


Long Island University

Dr. Bob Brier is an Egyptologist and Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Brier has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and has received Long Island University's David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his achievements as a lecturer. He has served as Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Egyptology Today program. In 1994, Dr. Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian style. This research was the subject of a National Geographic television special, Mr. Mummy. Dr. Brier is also the host of The Learning Channel's series The Great Egyptians. Professor Brier is the author of Ancient Egyptian Magic (1980), Egyptian Mummies (1994), Encyclopedia of Mummies (1998), The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story (1998), Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (1999), and numerous scholarly articles.

By This Professor

Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
History of Ancient Egypt
Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs


Why Egypt Needed Hieroglyphs

01: Why Egypt Needed Hieroglyphs

Before learning how to read and write hieroglyphs, you have to understand why ancient Egypt had to invent some form of writing. Central to this introductory lecture is a study of the Narmer Palette, whose writing would set standards and conventions that would be followed for 3,000 years.

33 min
The Ancient Egyptian Alphabet

02: The Ancient Egyptian Alphabet

It's time to learn the hieroglyphic alphabet. Professor Brier shows you how to write each hieroglyph and how to position them, including a stylized hand ("D"), a horned viper ("F"), and two hieroglyphs for which English doesn't have a letter. Then, transcribe your name from English to ancient Egyptian.

29 min
How a Language Becomes Lost

03: How a Language Becomes Lost

How is it possible for a language used by the world's greatest civilization to become lost? The answer, you'll learn, involves charting the rise and fall of ancient Egypt's spectacular kingdoms, as well as investigating the ways Christianity replaced hieroglyphs with Greek letters.

31 min
Napoleon in Egypt

04: Napoleon in Egypt

Explore how hieroglyphs, and the ability to read them, was rediscovered during Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. Along the way, you'll consider the birth of Egyptology and the role of ushabtis, statues of servants buried with prominent Egyptians so they could avoid having to work in the next world.

32 min
Early Attempts to Decipher the Rosetta Stone

05: Early Attempts to Decipher the Rosetta Stone

With the discovery of the Rosetta Stone by the French, the process of deciphering hieroglyphs could begin. But early attempts were thrown off by what Professor Brier calls the "Big Mistake". Here, examine the reasons why so many scholars made the error of treating hieroglyphs like picture writing.

32 min
William Bankes and the Keys to Decipherment

06: William Bankes and the Keys to Decipherment

Learn how several key discoveries showed how to decipher hieroglyphs the right way, and also shaped our understanding of ancient Egypt. First: a bilingual obelisk that extended the Egyptian alphabet. Second: the "Hall of Ancients", which contained the longest list of pharaohs ever discovered.

31 min
Jean-François Champollion Cracks the Code

07: Jean-François Champollion Cracks the Code

Meet Jean- François Champollion, the first man in 2,000 years to read hieroglyphs and correct the "Big Mistake". After studying Champollion's vital contribution to the field, you'll spend time learning how to read and write biliterals: hieroglyphs that represent two sounds, one after the other.CHECK THIS RECORD

31 min
Suffix Pronouns and the Hieroglyphs of Ptah

08: Suffix Pronouns and the Hieroglyphs of Ptah

In the first half of this lecture, learn how to work with suffix pronouns (which, unlike in English, are the same for possessive and nominative). Then, discover what hieroglyphs reveal about the role of the creator god Ptah in Egyptian religion-and his close connection with writing and words.CHECK THIS RECORD

32 min
The Immortal Scribe

09: The Immortal Scribe

First, continue working on suffix pronouns with several English-to-hieroglyph sentence translations. Then, unpack the hidden meaning of the scarab beetle hieroglyph (kheper). Finally, learn about the scribes responsible for writing everything from cattle inventories to Books of the Dead, then learn about the medium on which they wrote, papyrus.

31 min
Hieroglyphs and the Bible

10: Hieroglyphs and the Bible

After giving you a few more pointers on suffix pronouns (including an unusual feature of the Middle Egyptian language), Professor Brier invites you to do a little applied hieroglyphs. How does a little knowledge of hieroglyphs help us answer some biblical questions about iconic events from the book of Exodus?...

31 min
Dependent Pronouns and the Passive Voice

11: Dependent Pronouns and the Passive Voice

Dependent pronouns, as you'll learn, don't have to be added onto any other word; they stand alone and are usually the object of the verb. From there, you'll consider the first expedition to copy hieroglyphs (epigraphy), and learn about a current program designed to save inscriptions on fragile temple walls.

31 min
Past Tense and Adjectives

12: Past Tense and Adjectives

Start working with the past tense in your hieroglyphic sentences (the secret involves tacking a water sign onto a verb). Then, expand your Egyptian vocabulary to include new biliterals, as well as adjectives like "evil" and "excellent." Also, learn how to use adjectives as modifiers, predicates, and nouns....

28 min
New Ideograms Related to the Gods

13: New Ideograms Related to the Gods

From suns and pillars to flagpoles and scepters, uncover what the hieroglyphs of gods reveal about ancient Egyptian thought and belief. For example, flagpoles were the ideogram for "god" (pronounced netcher) and ram-headed scepters (pronounced was) were representations of power inspired by the god Amun....

31 min
Names of the Pharaohs

14: Names of the Pharaohs

Learn how the kings of Egypt wrote their names. Using the Sneferu stela as a guide, examine the development of a pharaoh's five royal titles: the "Horus" name, the "King of Upper and Lower Egypt" name, the "Two Ladies" name, the "Golden Horus" name, and the "Son of Re" name....

32 min
Ancient Egyptian Numbers

15: Ancient Egyptian Numbers

Learn the Egyptian way of writing whole numbers and fractions, which were used to keep track of everything from taxes to dates when the Nile would rise. Also, visit the mortuary temple of Ramses III, where a pile of hands reveals how many enemy soldiers were killed in battle....

31 min
The Egyptian Calendar

16: The Egyptian Calendar

Explore why the calendar was crucial to Egypt's success as a nation, and learn how the civilization divided a year into months and seasons based on the activity of the Nile River. Then, find out how Egyptologists use ancient Egyptian calendars to pinpoint dates....

29 min
Names of the Gods

17: Names of the Gods

By understanding hieroglyphic names of gods and goddesses, you can read the stories told on temple walls. Among the pantheon of deities you'll learn to recognize are Isis and Osiris, Atum (the first terrestrial god), and the earth and sky gods Geb and Nut....

31 min
Negation in Ancient Egyptian Sentences

18: Negation in Ancient Egyptian Sentences

How do you say "no" in ancient Egyptian? The answer, it turns out, involves knowing how to use (and draw) your arms. After practicing your skills at negation, you'll follow Professor Brier on a study tour of amulets (for both the dead and living) as "three-dimensional" hieroglyphs....

33 min
Reading Hieroglyphic Jewelry

19: Reading Hieroglyphic Jewelry

With your newfound knowledge of hieroglyphs, decipher what several pieces of exquisite ancient jewelry say - and why they're more than just pretty, decorative baubles. The jewels you examine include a pectoral worn by Queen Meret (used as political propaganda) and one worn by Princess Sat-Hathor (used for protection).

31 min
Palimpsests: When Scribes Make Mistakes

20: Palimpsests: When Scribes Make Mistakes

What happens when a scribe makes a mistake-especially when the hieroglyph is carved in stone? How do modern archaeologists know how to recognize errors? Using inscriptions on the Pyramid of Unas and at Abydos Temple, explore the topic of palimpsests, the writing of one text over another....

32 min
An Ancient Egyptian Prayer for the Dead

21: An Ancient Egyptian Prayer for the Dead

Enter the temples and tombs of the ancient Egyptians and explore some of the fascinating hieroglyphic prayers inscribed on their walls. Central to this lecture is a standard prayer for the dead that started in the Old Kingdom: the Hotep-di-nesu, which asked the king to grant an offering to Osiris....

33 min
Translating the Tomb of Perneb

22: Translating the Tomb of Perneb

Join Professor Brier for an in-depth tour of the Tomb of Perneb's hieroglyphs-specifically those in its chapel, or mastaba. What lies behind the "false door" common to chapels like this? Why were ka-priests so important to the afterlife of the wealthy?...

32 min
Translating Tutankhamen's Tomb

23: Translating Tutankhamen's Tomb

In the first of two lectures on the most famous find in all archaeology, learn the story of the excavation of King Tut's tomb. Then, translate some of the inscriptions on the gilded shrines in the Egyptian ruler's burial chamber (among them: messages by carpenters for use in construction)....

31 min
King Tut's Magic Mirror and Sarcophagus

24: King Tut's Magic Mirror and Sarcophagus

Decode and understand the inscriptions on two astonishing artifacts: a magic mirror used during Tutankhamen's lifetime and the lid of the pharaoh's sarcophagus. Then, conclude the course with suggestions on how to continue studying hieroglyphs, including scholarly resources and translation tips....

34 min