You Too! Should join Scribal School, aka Learn Hieroglyphs.

So I was about to start this post by saying I don’t typically write posts like this in which I just try to convince people to buy a product . . .

Then I remembered I literally review books every Wednesday on this bloggo and what is that if not schlepping books so, here’s something that’s not a book, but has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my year.

Learning hieroglyphs with Scribal School.

I can trace a general fascination with Ancient Egypt back to the 6th Grade in which we learned about many (I won’t say all because lord knows I didn’t study THAT hard) of the world’s ancient civilizations. I remember studying the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, and learning about the weird triangle-ish writing of Mesopotamia. And then later I was duly impressed by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, with their stone pantheons and gladiatorial arenas.

But Ancient Egypt was the chapter I’d always wished we’d spent a little more time on. Not because we spent any less time on it than other cultures or periods of history, but just because I kept wanting to know more and more about it.

This curiosity never really faded but it certainly took the back burner for quite a while. I suppose I nurtured it subtly when opportunities arose, like playing Age of Mythology growing up, or watching The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. When I was much much older, it seems I even began kicking around the idea of setting a story in Ancient Egypt (I’m sure the timing of that article had nothing to do with reading Jurassic London’s Ancient Egyptian anthologies: The Book of the Dead, and Unearthed).

I’ve continued to learn a lot about Ancient Egypt in this casual kind of way. But I always wanted to go deeper. There seemed so much more still to uncover.

During the early days of the pandemic, I came across the Voices of Ancient Egypt YouTube Channel and the Hieroglyph-a-Day videos. It was just what I needed to get me started.

I watched a video each day while eating lunch (sometimes repeating a lesson if the crunching of cool ranch Doritos became too loud). In less than a month, I was recognizing all sorts of signs and learning all kinds of new things I’d never realized about Egypt’s ancient history.

Like apparently they LOVE Bread and Beer. Unsurprisingly, these are also some of my favorite foods (I’m still waiting to learn the glyph for bbq though).

I finished watching the Hieroglyph-a-Day videos right around the time Scribal School started. I wanted to join right away during the beta but held off, thinking it was silly or “too much”. By the time my birthday was approaching, the first “official” course was starting and I finally decided to treat myself and join in.

It’s been a wonderful time. I’m not even finished with all the modules yet, and I can already read a good chunk of this:

The top part says something like: “The offering which the king gives Osiris Lord of Djedu . . .” and then it lists the offerings as “beef, poultry, alabaster . . .”

I’ve also learned how to look up symbols I’ve forgotten (or don’t know), and use Jsesh to create my own words. As you can see my drawing isn’t very good (and I think there’s a mistake there anyway lol):

But what’s truly amazing about learning this ancient and archaic script, is how much I learn about the people who used it just from what they wrote. I can now recognize the year of a pharaoh’s reign, as well as who their families were and their titles and beliefs. Ancient Egyptian’s considered names to be representative of one’s personality and status, both in society and amongst the gods.

Now I can read those names.

Writing this is post is making me anxious to dive back into the lessons I’ve not yet completed, which is also one of the greatest parts of the course. You can go completely at your own pace. I’m well behind my classmates at this point but I can still chat with them on Facebook, and learn a great deal from them while taking the videos at my own pace which has been great considering I’m now back at work full time and still trying to write.

Anyway, I’ve probably rambled on enough about this already, so I’ll just leave you with the link to Scribal School one more time. I believe there is still 3ish days to sign up before the price goes up for 2022.

You should totally do it! I’m 100% up for having a pen-pal that sends me coded messages in hieroglyphs (once I really get good I’m gonna start doing hieroglyphic ciphers but I need to practice some more first haha)

That’s all for this week? Are you trying to learn hieroglyphs? What’s your favorite thing about Ancient Egypt? Leave me your answers in the comments!

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