An illustration of two children peering into an ancient Egyptian tomb full of objects.

Can you crack the code? 

Join the quest to unlock ancient Egypt by solving these hieroglyph puzzles.

The secrets of ancient Egypt

For centuries, life in ancient Egypt was steeped in mystery. We could only glimpse into this hidden world until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone provided the key to decoding hieroglyphs, allowing us to read this ancient script. The breakthrough expanded our understanding of human history by some 3,000 years. To celebrate this incredible time in history  and the new exhibition Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt – the British Museum joined forces with children's publisher Nosy Crow to create this wonderfully immersive puzzle storybook, written by Blue Peter award-winning author Andy Seed and sumptuously illustrated in colour by highly acclaimed artist James Weston Lewis.

In The Curse of the Tomb Robbers join ancient Egyptian friends, Nub and Iteti, as they they set off on a quest to stop a gang of robbers from raiding Queen Neith's tomb. The book features brilliant artwork, fun puzzles to solve, fascinating facts about ancient Egypt and an easy-to-use hieroglyphs dictionary. Curious minds will love taking part in this interactive, hair-raising adventure story.

Meet Nub and Iteti


Illustrations of Nub and Iteti.
Nub – left, and Iteti – right.

Nub is an apprentice scribe who has been learning how to read and write in hieroglyphs since he was just five years old. As an orphan, he both lives and studies at his scribe school. His favourite thing to do when he has time off from lessons is explore the city and the land around it, with his friend Iteti, in search of adventure. 

Iteti is the daughter of a vizier (an important official who advises the pharaoh). She lives in a grand house close to the pharaoh's palace, where she is supposed to be learning how to take care of running her home. Her favourite thing to do when she can escape her servants' watchful gaze is to learn how to read and write in hieroglyphs, with the help of Nub. 

Join the quest to unlock ancient Egypt

Be part of Nub and Iteti's thrilling adventure with the Picture Language Code-Breaker Challenge, where you can use the hieroglyph charts and decoder key to unravel the mysterious messages below. You can even create your own secret message to share with friends!

Learn the lingo

An alphabet of hieroglyphic symbols

Egyptian-English Dictionary

A dictionary of Egyptian and English words

Can you decode these secret messages written in hieroglyphs?

Beginner level: 

Three hieroglyphs


Can you decode these secret messages written in hieroglyphs?

Ultimate code breaker: 

Ultimate code breaker puzzle


You can find the answers at the bottom of the page. 


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You can discover more about the race to understand hieroglyphs in the exhibition Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt, which runs until 19 February.

Supported by bp

Andy Seed, author

A portrait of Andy Seed leaning on a drystone wall with a bucolic English landscape in the background.

One of the most exciting things about this book is that it effectively gives children their own mini-Rosetta Stone, allowing them to unlock the secrets of hieroglyphs while also enjoying an adventurous mystery story. It was huge fun to write.


Beginner level: sycamore.

Ultimate code breaker: falcon collar, bracelets, rings, with.