Rosetta stoneWritten by Dr. Sherin ElKhawaga
The Rosetta stone is very famous for it provided key to solve ancient Egyptian language. The Rosetta Stone was carved in 196 B.C. It was discovered by French soldiers who came with Napoleon. The Frenchman Jean François Champollion is one who cracked code of stone.
The discovery of stone of rosette later called Rosetta stone is an interesting story. The stone was discovered by French troops in Napoleon's military expedition, in 1799 in Lower Egypt, when they were digging foundations of an addition to a fort near town of el-Rashid (Rosetta), in Nile Delta. It was discovered near town of Rosetta (now Rashid), located in Nile Delta about 40 miles northeast of Alexandria, by a Frenchman, Pierre Bouchard, on 15 July 1799. Captain Bouchard, an engineer officer in Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, was supervising reconstruction of an old fort, as part of preparations for defending French from attacks by British and Turkish forces in area. The Rosetta Stone came to light during demolition of a wall in fort. Captain Bouchard saw that polished black basalt stone contained three sections of different types of writing, and recognized its significance immediately. He sent stone to Cairo, to scholars who also accompanied French expedition to Egypt. In 1801, after two years of warding off attacks by British, and after their defeat at Abuquir Bay, French forces in Egypt surrendered. Under terms of Treaty of Capitulation, all antiquities in possession of French, including Rosetta Stone, were ceded to British.
The stone is a compact basalt slab (114x72x28 cm) that was found in July 1799 in small Egyptian village Rosette (Raschid), which is located in western delta of Nile. The stone contained words in three types of writing: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic, which is a shorthand version of Egyptian hieroglyphic writing, and Greek. By translating Greek section, scholars were able to learn what hieroglyphs meant. This enabled them to translate inscriptions inside Egyptian temples.
The inscription on stone was a decree passed by a general council of priests which assembled at Memphis on first anniversary of coronation of Ptolemy V Epiphanes, king of all Egypt. The text concerns honours bestowed on king by temples of Egypt in return for services rendered by him to Egypt both at home and abroad. Priestly privileges, especially those of an economic nature, are listed in detail. Because inscription appears in three scripts, hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek, scholars were able to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphic and demotic versions by comparing them with Greek version.
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WRITING.Written by Dr. Sherin ElKhawaga
THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS HAD A SPECIAL LANGUAGE CALLED HIEROGLYPHICS. THIS LANGUAGE USED ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ALPHABET AND OTHER WORDS, SENTENCES OR IDEAS ALL COMPOSED OF PICTURES AND SYMBOL.
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The ancient Egyptian writing which is called hieroglyphics were composed of pictures and drawings. The hieroglyphic alphabets is composed of drawings to symbolize ancient Egyptian letters. The anciet Egyptians were very cultured and civilized that is why they cherished learning and cherished their history and invented this method of writing to keep their civilization recorded on walls of temples and tombs. The hieroglyphics alphabet is made up of drawings representing sound of letter, thus they were all constant letters. Also ancient egyptian writing used small pictures for representing whole words, ideas or actions. HIEROGLYPHICS There is about 700 letters in ancient egyptian writing system. The ancient Egyptians considered this type of writing as sacred and religious writings and most were placed and carved on tombs or wall of temples.The Egyptian writings were considered "words of Gods". The ibis-headed god Thoth was considered to be patron deity of writing and scribes. Hieroglyphs were primarily used for religious and formal secular purposes. Early in historical period, a simpler cursive script was developed, in which each character was a simplified version of a hieroglyph. This script is today known as hieratic and was widely used until about 800 BCE for business, literary and religious texts. By about 700 BCE another script today called demotic had evolved from hieratic. Business, legal and literary inscriptions were written in demotic.