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Whai is the Rosetta Stone?

Friday - May 11, 2018 11:49 am , Category : Fun Facts

Hieroglyphs are the written symbols that were used by scribes in ancient Egypt. While they appear to be picture or pictographs, they usually stood for sound or phonetics.

The hieroglyphic system of writing vanished from Egypt by about the fifth century  A.D. and with it all knowledge of how to translate the complex symbols. Then in 1799, a Frenchman in Rosetta , Egypt (now called Rashid) discovered a black granite stone from the second century B.C  that bore inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphic, Egyptian demotic (common script ) and Greek . By comparing the symbols in the three different writing systems, he was able to begin to decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, revealing a text written by priests in honor of the pharaoh.

The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and Demotic script, respectively, while the bottom is in Ancient Greek. As the decree has only minor differences between the three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.

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