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Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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Ronald Burgos 9/28/00 Period1 The Rosetta Stone In 1799, when Napoleon's army was dismantling a wall in Rashid, Egypt, they discovered the Rosetta Stone. Little did they know that this 11-inch thick piece of rock would be one of the greatest discoveries in history! It contained Egyptian scripture, with Greek also on the stone. This was used to decode the once lost Egyptian writing system. Before the 1800's, attempts at trying to uncover the secrets held by the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics found on walls inside numerous tombs were useless. The pictures were falsely believed to be symbolic, representing some sort of object or idea. Something soon changed all of this misconception. 1799 was the year of a great breakthrough in Egyptology. French troops, under Napoleon's command, were destroying a wall when they found a black, basalt stone. The stone was inscribed with three different forms of writing: Egyptian hieroglyphics, a shorthand form of hieroglyphs, and Greek written in 196 BC.

The Rosetta Stone then became instrumental in decrypting the long forgotten Egyptian writing system. The stone was first discovered near Rosetta, Egypt, by one of Napoleon's soldiers, named variously as Bouchard, during his expedition to Egypt in August of 1799. In no time, this discovery was mentioned to all the top scholars who were immensely interested since there was no way to decode the hieroglyphs. In 1802, Johan David Akerblad was the first to break ground in identifying the first demotic symbols. He identified a few of the proper names in the demotic text, after comparing them with the same names found in the Greek text. (Ogg 78) Next on the scene was Thomas Young, an English physicist, who took an interest to the deciphering the Rosetta Stone as well. After much researching, Young was able to prove...