What fun to see it
The Rosetta Stone is one of the top ten attractions at the British Museum. When we visited England last year August, my oldest son was delighted to be able to see the Rosetta Stone. He was the one who looked up its whereabouts in this vast museum and very determinedly led us to it.
Our visit to the British Museum that year was late in the afternoon and it was very busy. People stood ten deep in front of this famous stone. We had to wait a while to get a chance to read the inscription and stand in front of it for a few short moments.
My husband and I visited the British Museum on our recent quick trip to London. This time we visited during the morning hours and it wasn’t nearly as busy. I was able to spend more time admiring the Rosetta Stone and took a nice picture of it with me reflected in the background glass.
Why is the Rosetta Stone important?
The Rosetta Stone holds the key to translating hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics was the script used originally in ancient Egypt for religious texts. It stopped being used in the fourth century C.E. and the knowledge off how to read the small pictures that constitute this writing was lost until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone.
The Rosetta Stone is inscribed with text in three different scripts. The text is a decree, passed by a council of priests and is inscribed on the stone three times in three distinct bands of writing. The first is in hieroglyphics, the second in demotic (the native script of the ancient Egyptian people) and the third in ancient Greek (the language of administration.
It was the Rosetta Stone that enabled scholars to read the inscriptions and texts, tablets and tombs which facilitated our modern understanding of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
How was it discovered?
The Rosetta Stone was discovered by soldiers in Napoleon’s army in 1799 while digging the foundations of an addition to a fort near the town of el-Rashid (Rosetta). When Napoleon was defeated, the stone become the property of the British in terms of the Treaty of Alexandria (1801) along with other historical artifacts the French had found.
A very lucky find for the world.
Have a lovely evening.