Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone is an amazing piece of history on display at the British Museum. This artifact has been at the museum since 1802, with the exception of one break during World War II; the museum was concerned that the heavy bombing would strike "The British Museum", and, therefore the Stone was moved underground for protection. The significance of this Stone is that it was the key to translating Egyptian hieroglyphics.

This Stone was the key to understanding the ancient Egyptians and their culture on a much deeper level. The Stone was re-discovered by Napoleon's army in July of 1799. The man who discovered it during this time was a French officer by the name of Lieutenant Pierre-Francois Bouchard. This Stone was discovered near the city of Rashid, which is now called Rosetta. It was spotted when French soldiers were digging at the foundations of a fort.

The Rosetta Stone was discovered to have three inscriptions written on it. Interestingly, it was realized that the inscriptions all said the same thing, but in three languages. Two of the languages were different forms of ancient Egyptian; one of them was hieroglyphics. The other language, which was most important, was Greek; Greek was the language of the administrators at the time the Stone was made.

Since scholars already knew how to read Greek and the other form of ancient Egyptian, called demotic, which was the common language of Egyptians back then, they slowly but surely were able to decipher hieroglyphics. The man to finally decipher the hieroglyphics was none other than Jean-Franchois Champollion in 1822.

Essentially, what the Stone says was written by a group of Egyptian priests praising the King, Ptolemy V. What the Stone actually says is not as significant as what the Stone empowered scholars to do. They were then able to unlock the secrets of Egypt in its structures and its texts!

This famous Stone is on display for the world to see at the British Museum in London, located on Great Russell Street. This museum is home to many other objects and artifacts. It has hundreds and thousands of artifacts from different parts of the world: Egypt and the Sudan, Greece and Rome, and the Middle East. There will be no shortage of interesting Wonders to see at this fantastic museum!

The British Museum is easy to get to via tube public transportation stations. The closest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square, and Goodge Street.

The Rosetta Stone helped to unlock the wonders of an entire ancient culture! Now, you will be able to experience those wonders yourself when you visit the British Museum and learn about this magnificent artifact!

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