Hieroglyphs were far more than a language. They were an omnipresent and all-powerful force in communicating the messages of ancient Egyptian culture for over three thousand years; used as monumental art, as a means of identifying Egyptianness, and for rarefied communication with the gods. In this exciting new study, Penelope Wilson explores the cultural significance of the script with an emphasis on previously neglected areas such as cryptography, the continuing decipherment into modern times, and examines the powerful fascination hieroglyphs still hold for us today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.