"strips of hieroglyphs"

Hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used by Ancient Egyptians. A combination of alphabetical and pictorial elements, they were traditionally used for religious writings written on wood or papyrus. Eventually the system dissolved into two forms – hieratic (for the priests) and demotic (for the public). Originally there were around 800 symbols, but by Greco-Roman times this had turned into more than 5,000. The oldest examples of hieroglyphic writing date to around 3,000BC and they remained in use until the 4th century AD, when conquering foreign powers brought their own writing systems. Deciphering hieroglyphics is an incredibly complicated process, as the symbols can have many different meanings and be interpreted literally or allegorically. Some more useful hieroglyph websites, including explanations and translations, can be found at:

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Writing