rosetta stone

Article

July 5, 2022

The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stela inscribed with a decree published in Memphis in 196 BC. C. in the name of Pharaoh Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three different scripts: the upper text in Egyptian hieroglyphics, the middle part in demotic script and the lower part in ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same content in all three inscriptions, with minor differences between them, this stone provided the key to the modern decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The stela was carved in the Hellenistic period and is thought to have originally been on display inside a temple, possibly in nearby Sais. It was probably moved at the end of Antiquity or during the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt and finally used as a building material in a fort near the town of Rashid (Rosetta), in the Nile delta. There it was found on July 15, 1799 by French captain Pierre-François Bouchard during the French campaign in Egypt. As the first ancient multilingual text discovered in modern times, the Rosetta Stone aroused public interest in its potential to decipher the hitherto unintelligible Egyptian hieroglyphic script, and consequently its lithographic and plaster copies began to circulate among the ancients. European museums and scholars. The British defeated the French in Egypt and the stone was transported to London after the signing of the Capitulation of Alexandria in 1801. It has been on public display since 1802 in the British Museum, where it is the most visited piece. The first complete translation of the ancient Greek text appeared in 1803. In 1822, the French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion announced in Paris the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, but it would take linguists some time to read with certainty other inscriptions and texts of the ancient Greek. Ancient Egypt. The main advances in decoding were the recognition that the stele offers three versions of the same text (1799), that the demotic text uses phonetic characters to write foreign names (1802), that the hieroglyphic text also does so and has general similarities with the demotic —Thomas Young in 1814— and that, in addition to being used for foreign names, phonetic characters were also used to write native Egyptian words —Champollion between 1822 and 1824—. Later, two fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered, and several bilingual and trilingual Egyptian inscriptions are known today, including two Ptolemaic decrees, such as the Decree of Canopus of 238 BC. C. and the Decree of Memphis of Ptolemy IV, c. 218 BC For this reason, although the Rosetta stone is no longer unique, it was an essential reference for the current understanding of the literature and civilization of Ancient Egypt, and the term "Rosetta stone" itself is used today in other contexts such as the name of the essential key to a new field of knowledge.

Description

The Rosetta Stone is 112.3 cm high, 75.7 cm wide and 28.4 cm thick,[1] while its weight is estimated at approximately 760 kilograms.[1] It has three inscriptions: the upper in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the central one in Egyptian demotic script, and the lower one in ancient Greek.[2] doubt because it was not visible in its original location.[3][4] The stela is described as "a stone of black granite, bearing three inscriptions... found at Rosetta" in a modern catalog of the objects discovered by the French expedition to Egypt.[5] Sometime after their arrival in London, the stele sign up