Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Rosetta Stone: How did this rock unlock the secrets of Egypt

The nineteenth day of July marks the anniversary of the discovery of the “Rosetta Stone.” On this day in 1799 AD, that is 221 years ago, in the castle of (Julian) Berrechid (presently the province of Beheira), the most important stone was discovered in Egypt (and possibly in the world). By deciphering it, the ancient Egyptian writing was identified and the secrets and mysteries of Egyptian civilization were revealed.

Who found the stone? He is the French officer (Pierre-Francois Javier Bouchard), and he is one of the engineering officers who came as part of the French campaign against Egypt.

Although a person (French) discovered the Rosetta Stone (Al-Masry) stone, there is now a British museum in (London), because the French, after their occupation of Egypt for three years, surrendered to the British and Ottoman forces in 1801 AD. The British captured the Rosetta Stone and other Egyptian antiquities that were in the hands of the French.

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Rosetta Stone is a large black basalt stone that is 115 cm long, 72 cm wide, and 11 cm thick. It is believed that the stone was part of a larger plate that was broken during ancient times. However, no other parts of the plate was found other than this stone.

The stone contains three different texts – ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs from (top), demotic in (middle), and Greek at (bottom). The three texts tell the same story, so the ancient Egyptian language was deciphered by comparing these texts in different languages.

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It is strange that the British were not satisfied with their seizure of stone. They even distorted it. They destroyed it by placing two white inscriptions on the edges of the original broken stone, one on the left and the other on the right. The first reads: “He was detained in Egypt by the British army in 1801,” and the second reads, “Submitted by King George III.”

The Rosetta Stone created during the Ptolemaic period, and it was a decree issued in 196 BC, on the first anniversary of the coronation of the Ptolemaic King (Ptolemy the Fifth) in the sixth year of his rule. The Egyptian priests issued the decree. Therefore, the original purpose of the stone was to confirm the legitimacy of the king.

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