"The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum" British Museum Tip by easyoar

British Museum, London: 318 reviews and 592 photos

  The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum
by easyoar

The Rosetta Stone is probably one of the most famous pieces in the British Museum. It is an old stone that was found in Egypt in 1799 by some French Soldiers, although it is much much older than this. Apparently it dates back to 196 BC.

The reason it is considered so special is that it is entirely covered in writing, but more importantly than this, it is writen in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), and uses three different scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek). The reason 3 scripts were used was because one was used for religious and official documents, one was used for the common people, and one was used for the rulers. By using all 3 and repeating the message in each, it was legible to all people who could read in Egypt.

The stone helped scholars decipher heiroglyphics which had always been impossible to read. By reading the two scripts they did understand, they could start deciphering the heiroglyphics.

BTW, apologies for the strange lighting at the bottom of the photo, kids had been wiping their greasy fingers on the glass and this was reflecting the light.

Address: Great Russell Street, WC1
Directions: Holborn tube
Phone: 0 20 7323 8299
Website: http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 19, 2005
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