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Hieroglyphs: Unlocking ancient Egypt review: Two hundred years on

Cracking Egypt’s hieroglyphic code was one of humanity’s greatest feats. A riveting new exhibition at the British Museum celebrates the 200th anniversary


2 November 2022

A papyrus containing ancient “spells”

The Trustees of the British Museum

Hieroglyphs: Unlocking ancient Egypt

Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery

The British Museum, London. Closes 19 February 2023, then tours to selected UK venues

STEPPING from the British Museum’s bright main atrium into a darkened space, I am confronted by a huge array of cubes. One face of each cube shows a hieroglyph, which you can rotate to find its meaning. I can see all sorts of symbols, from scarabs, owls and hawks to abstract patterns.

It is fun to explore, but also bewildering, with no obvious link between …

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