Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Rosetta Stone: the Key to Egyptian Hieroglyphs
The Rosetta Stone, an irregularly shaped slab of black basalt measuring 3’ 9” by 2’ 4 1/2", was found in the town of Rosetta on the left bank of the Nile, in August of 1799, by a Frenchman named Pierre-Francois Bouchard during the execution of repairs to the fort at St. Julian. Subsequently passed into British ownership in 1801 during the surrender of Egypt by the French, it is currently housed in the British Museum. Written in two languages and three scripts (Greek, hieroglyphics, and demotic), the inscription records the commemoration of the accession of the Pharaoh Ptolemy V Epiphanes to the throne of Egypt in the year 197–196 BCE, in the 9th year of his reign. The son of Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, Ptolemy V Epiphanes was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, becoming ruler at the age of five when his father died and his mother Sosibius was murdered. Read more . . .