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Rosetta Stone
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Тhis stone IS inscribed with a decree issued on the anniversary of the coronation of the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy V (205-180 вс). The decree is inscribed in hieroglyphic (suitable for a priestly decree), demotic (everyday script), and Greek (the language of the administration).

Napoleon's army discovered the stone in 1799 while digging fortifications near the town of el-Rashid (Rosetta). On Napoleon's defeat, the stone became the property of the British. The importance of this tri-lingual inscription to Egyptology is immense. The knowledge of how to read and write hieroglyphs disappeared soon after the end of the fourth century AD. Some 1400 years later, scholars were able to use the Greek inscription on this stone as the key to decipher them. Thomas Young demonstrated that some of the hieroglyphs represented the name 'Ptolemy'. Jean-Francois Champollion then realized that hieroglyphs recorded the sound of the Egyptian language, a breakthrough in their decipherment.

Rosetta Stone


Excavated from Fort St Julien, el-Rashid (Rosetta), Egypt, 196 вс
Ht 114 cm (max.)
Gift ofH.M. George III



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