Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone

Historical Context

The Egyptian stone stele is famous for being inscribed with three versions of a decree in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, Demotic (the cursive Egyptian script used for daily purposes, meaning ‘language of the people’), and the Ancient Greek script. This allowed Egyptian hieroglyphics to be deciphered for the first time, by Jean-François Champollion in 1803.

The stone stele was originally inscribed in 196 BC to mark the establishment of a divine cult for the Hellenistic ruler Ptolemy V.

Rediscovered in 1799 near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt, it was the first bilingual hieroglyphic text to be discovered. It now resides in the British Museum in London.

Artifact Info

Location: Rashid (Rosetta), Egypt

Related Events

  • 1799-07-15 The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign
  • 1822-09-27 French scholar Jean-François Champollion announces he has deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics using the Rosetta Stone

Historical Artifacts