Image: Stela of Montuhotep courtesy of National Museums Liverpool (World Museum).

Who are these people and what are their hopes?

Find out on this course!

This five-week course introduces ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the language that they write, and the culture they represent.

Egyptian temples and tombs are covered in Egyptian picture-writing. The script contains the ideas, rituals and religious beliefs of the Egyptians for over three thousand years. By the end of the course, you will be able to recognise and understand a basic number of words and what they mean. Begin to unlock the mysteries of the past for yourself!

It is recommended that you have a basic understanding of hieroglyphic signs and transliteration. Homework will not be expected as all will be covered within the weekly 1.5-hour session.



Dr Penelope (Penny) Wilson is Associate Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, UK. She is currently the Director of the EES Delta Survey Project, and Project Director of the joint EES/Durham University archaeological mission at Sais in the western Delta. Penny is a specialist in both Egyptian languages and field archaeology and since 2019 also sits on the Society’s Board of Trustees.

Course Dates

Thursday 12th May, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week one - Basic words (nouns) - how they are written and linked together to form short phrases. You will be reading a text from a tomb scene.

Thursday 19th May, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week two - Using an Egyptian text we will see what you can recognize already; add in some extra information about words for he/his/him, she/hers/her, they/their/them, you/your and see how that expands your understanding of the text. 

Thursday 26th May, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week three - Adding information to things using describing words of various kinds (adjectives and adverbs). We will use an autobiographical text to see what the Egyptians thought was good in a person’s character.

Thursday 2nd June, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week Four – Formulas and short-cuts using temple and funerary texts to break down how to read the kind of texts you might see in Museums, on your next visit to Egypt or online.

Thursday 9th June, 18:00-19:30 (UK) time
Week Five – Doing things. Using verbs to describe actions - how verbs work in Egyptian using extracts from the ‘Story of Sinuhe’.

Recordings of the live sessions will be made available to attendees following the weekly session for those unable to attend in person. 


50% of your ticket fee will go toward the Society’s Delta Survey Fund. Thank you.

Members of the Egypt Exploration Society can book at a heavily discounted rate. If you’re not yet a member but would like to join in order to receive this discount, please ensure that you have joined here. If you are a Cairo Associate, then please contact our Cairo Office to reserve your discounted tickets: [email protected] 

Register for your place in advance using the links below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the course. Links for joining the event will be sent by email. If you do not receive your email, then please check your junk folders before contacting the Egypt Exploration Society. The course will be held on our Zoom platform and attendees will be able to interact by asking questions, using the chat and polls. It is not necessary to have a working webcam or microphone for this course. The online course will be complemented by Google Drive, where resources will be uploaded.

Please ensure that you have read our guide to attending EES online events before the course begins.

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

EES member - 50% discount

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EES student member - 75% discount

Decrease Increase £25.00