Thursday, July 19, 2012

This Day in History July 19, 1799

I am sure that when the term Rosetta Stone is used, you probably think, like I do, of the computer program for learning languages.  But that is not what the original Rosetta Stone is about.  It was on this date in 1799 that the Rosetta Stone was discovered.  It was discovered by one of Napoleon's soldiers during his Egyptian campaign.  When the British defeated the French in 1801, the British took it from the French.

This stone dates back to 196 B.C., and it was found near the city of Rosetta (Rashid).  It is special because it has writing in two different languages (Egyptian and Greek) and three different scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek).  It is now housed in the British museum where it has been since 1802.

In 1822, Jean-Francios Champollion deciphered the meaning of the writing on the stone due to his language skills in Greek and Coptic.  The meaning of the writing was a listing of all the good things the Pharaoh had done for his priests and people.

There is a lot more information at these various sites:


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