For 1500 years the hieroglphs of Ancient Egypt defied interpretation but were thought to conceal ancient wisdom and religious secrets. When at last they were deciphered, the hieroglyphs provided something quite different; a picture of ordinary life. The hieroglyphs were concerned not with esoteric rituals but with facts: dates, names, places, and details of people's rank and position in society. Hilary Wilson provides translations of hundreds of the most commonly used hieroglyphs by means of easy-to-use tables, and includes examples from monuments, documents and museum exhibits. She also explains the significance of the terms used, so as to offer a fuller understanding of what the original scribe was trying to convey.