Today is a very special day for us! On this day in 1799 the Rosetta Stone was discovered, the key to understanding the meaning of hieroglyphs. Here’s some more info about the Rosetta Stone.
Learn more about the Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone was discovered by Napoleon’s Egyptian army in 1799 on the banks of the Nile River near the town of el-Rashid (Rosetta). It was carved with three distinctly different scripts bearing communication from an ancient world. The soldiers were mesmerised but could not decipher its mysterious combinations of symbols and pictures.
The secret of its linguistic system was unlocked in the 1820s, when French scholar Jean-Francois Champollion realised that hieroglyphs recorded the sound of the Egyptian language. It was subsequently determined that the stone had been carved in 196 B.C. to commemorate Ptolemy V on the anniversary of his coronation. The message was inscribed in three versions, so as to be understood by all: Egyptian hieroglyphics (suitable for priestly decrees); demotic script (native script used for daily purposes); and Greek (the language of rulers).
The Rosetta Stone has been exhibited in the British Museum since 1802 with only one break. For two years during the bombing of London in World War I, the Museum hid it safely in a station on the city’s Postal Tube Railway, 50 feet below ground at Holborn. It is 114.4 cm high (at its tallest point), nearly 73 cm wide and just short of 28 cm thick.
Rosetta Stone Language-Learning Software
Like the ancient stone for which it is named, Rosetta Stone language-learning software unlocks the mystery of languages. However, its key to learning lies in the tools of today’s world. Using CD-ROM and online technology to link the meaning of native speakers, written text and real life images, Rosetta Stone puts the power of language to work for learners of any age.
Learn more about Rosetta Stone.