what is the rosetta stone and why is it important

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Understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs

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  • What is the Rosetta Stone?

  • T he Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous artifacts in all of archaeology. It is a stone 鈥渟tele鈥?(pronounced STEE-lee) inscribed with the same decree in three different scripts used in Egypt at the time of its creation: on the top is Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics, the middle portion in Demotic script, and the lower portion is Ancient Greek.

  • How did the Rosetta Stone help scholars crack the Code of hieroglyphics?

  • It wasn’t until the 19th century-two thousand years after its creation-that the Rosetta Stone helped scholars at long last crack the code of hieroglyphics. French army engineers who were part of Napoleon Bonaparte 鈥檚 Egypt campaign discovered the stone slab in 1799 while making repairs to a fort near the town of Rashid (Rosetta).

  • How did the Rosetta Stone help discover the Coptic language?

  • Interestingly the Coptic language uses seven symbols that were shared by the Demotic text. With this additional kernel of knowledge, Johann Akerblad helped establish the Demotic translations of the words 鈥渓ove鈥? 鈥渢emple鈥? and 鈥淕reek鈥? It was this that helped confirm that the Demotic text in the middle of the Rosetta stone was a phonetic script.

  • What is the Rosetta Disk?

  • Inspired by the Rosetta Stone, linguists of the world came together to form the Rosetta Project, which is aimed at conserving languages, both major and native, in a bid to ensure that no language is lost. To this end, this group of specialists have built a digital library known as the Rosetta Disk.

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