The Rosetta Stone is arguably one of the most important archaeological finds of all time. It is the key to understanding Ancient Egyptian writing, which uses symbols called ‘hieroglyphs’. Before the Rosetta Stone was found, hieroglyphs were an intriguing reminder of a mysterious and lost language.
In 1799, one of Napoleon’s soldiers found the stone at a place called Rosetta in Egypt. However, the stone was soon claimed by the British when they defeated the French army in Egypt in 1801.
The large black stone has the same text carved in three different languages, including Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek. By comparing the recognisable names that were written in Ancient Greek, historians were eventually able to work out the corresponding hieroglyphs. This then allowed them to crack the code that had been impossible for centuries! Imagine what an important find this was!
The Rosetta Stone is still on display at The British Museum in London.
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