When I first encountered the term Rosetta stone, I thought it was a precious stone, like a diamond or something of the kind. Hoo boy, was I sooo wrooong...
Rosetta stone is an artifact they discovered in Egypt. It had become a significant part of Ancient Egyptian studies because this stone basically made it possible for Egyptologists to understand hieroglyphs and eventually made further studies of Egyptology possible.
During the Middle Ages (from about A.D. 500 ‘til the 1500s) and the Renaissance period (between about the 1500s ‘til 1800s), European scholars were interested to study and explore Egypt. But their interests were thwarted due to its inaccessibility.
1798 The modern study of ancient Egypt started this year by the French military expedition, led by Napoleon Bonaparte. They found Institut de l'Egypte in Cairo. They then brought 167 scientists and archaeologists to study the artifacts there.
1799 A stone made of basalt was discovered near Rosetta, a place near Rashid, Egypt. The stone was irregularly shaped; it is an ancient Egyptian artifact with inscriptions. French army engineer Captain Pierre-François Bouchard discovered the stone. He understood that it was an important find so they sent it to Institut de l'Egypte. After Napoleon Bonaparte returned to France, the scholars remained there to study the stone and many other artifacts that remained in Egypt.
1801 The French surrendered Egypt to Britain. There had been several disputes, however, over the handover of the stone and many other archaeological finds in the country.
1802 The Rosetta stone was finally surrendered to the British. It was displayed in the British Museum where it still remains.
The discovery of Rosetta stone had provided the knowledge of ancient Egyptian history and civilization. The uncovering of this stone had become the foundation of modern Egyptology. Rosetta stone is a multilingual stele that allowed linguists to understand and eventually able to decipher hieroglyphs. Stele means a carved or inscribed stone slab or pillar used for commemorative purposes. The inscriptions were written in two languages, Egyptian and Greek, in three scripts; 2 Egyptian scripts, Hieroglyphs and Demotic, and Greek. It was created and carved in 196 BC. The inscriptions were written by the priests of Memphis, summarized benefactions conferred by Ptolemy V Epiphanes (205-180 BC) and were written in commemoration of his accession to the throne.
The decipherment of the stone was largely the work of Thomas Young (1773 - 1829), physician and physicist, of England and Jean-François Champollion (1790 - 1832), Egyptologist, of France. The work of these two men established the basis for the translation of all future Egyptian hieroglyphic texts.
1814 Thomas Young finished translating the Demotic script and began working on the hieroglyphics of the Rosetta stone. Young discovered the way in which hieroglyphics signs were to be read. He was meticulous even about where the direction of the characters faced.
1821 - 1822 Jean-François Champollion published papers on the decipherment of hieratic and hieroglyphic writing based on the study of the Rosetta stone. It later established an entire list of signs of their Greek equivalents. He was the first Egyptologist to realize that some of the signs were alphabetic, some syllabic, and some determinative. He also established that the hieroglyphic text of the Rosetta stone was a translation from the Greek.
1822 - 1824 Jean-François Champollion extended his works on the Rosetta stone translation. He could read both Greek and Coptic and had somehow figured out what some of those signs meant. Most of his translations were based on guesses based on his knowledge of Greek, Coptic, Hieroglyphs, and Hieratic.
1858 Three undergraduate students of the University of Pennsylvania; Charles R Hale, S Huntington Jones, and Henry Morton published the first complete English translation of the Rosetta stone.
1972 Rosetta stone was exhibited for one month at the Louvre Museum in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphic writings by Jean-François Champollion.
2003 The Egyptian government, headed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, demanded the return of the Rosetta stone.
2005 The British Museum sent him a replica of the Rosetta stone.
Description of the Rosetta stone
Height is about 3 feet 7 inches 2 centimeters. Width is about 2 feet 3 inches 5 centimeters. Thickness is less than 1 foot or about 10 inches 9 centimeters. Weight is about 760 kilograms. Color is dark blue-pinkish-grey. The complete English translation is about 1600 words in length and is about 20 paragraphs long.
Rosetta stone Software
Rosetta stone software is a language-learning software that is an allusion to the historical Rosetta stone. The name Rosetta stone was used for this software because of its famous involvement with language translation. This software utilizes a combination of texts, images, and sounds. The developers of this software used Dynamic Immersion Method to teach foreign language. This method uses the teaching method on how we learned our first language as children, using images and sounds to help you understand the new language.
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