Secular Icon

The Rosetta Stone can be viewed as a secular icon for the world of translation. This trilingual stele became the translator´s key to decrypting Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Discovered in 1799 by a member of Napoleon´s Egyptian expeditionary force the stone´s text was a royal edict dating from the time of the Ptolemies, around 196 BC.

It was written in three different texts, Demotic, Greek and Hieroglyths which allowed for the eventual deciphering of the pictorial script.

Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832) finally found the key to deciphering the stone in 1822.

It is currently housed in the British Museum.

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