BJ906 Rosetta Stone
British Museum, London 2005.
"The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact which was instrumental in advancing modern understanding of hieroglyphic writing. The stone is a Ptolemaic era stele with carved text. The text is made up of three translations of a single passage, written in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and Demotic), and in classical Greek. It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the French in 1799 at Rosetta, a harbour on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt, and contributed greatly to the decipherment of the principles of hieroglyphic writing in 1822 by the British polymath Thomas Young and the French scholar Jean-François Champollion. Comparative translation of the stone assisted in understanding many previously undecipherable examples of hieroglyphic writing. The text of the Rosetta Stone is a decree from Ptolemy V, describing the repealing of various taxes and instructions to erect statues in temples."