Great Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology: The Rosetta Stone

Share/recommend this article:

Excerpt Traveling with the French army when Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 were 175 scientists. They studied known sites as well as previously unknown places. Continue reading

Explore
Related Articles
Support
Like this artice?

Our Ministry relies on the generosity of people like you. Every small donation helps us develop and publish great articles.

Please support ABR!

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover & PayPal

Their research resulted in a 24-volume publication that became the foundation for the modern field of Egyptology. Their most important discovery was made in 1799, near the village of Rosetta. Here French Army Captain Boussard found a stone monument written in three different languages. Later captured from the French by the British, this monument, now known as the Rosetta Stone, ended up in London’s British Museum.

The monument’s top 14 lines are written in hieroglyphs, Egypt’s oldest script; then 32 lines of Egyptian demotic (a cursive form of hieroglyphs); and finally 54 lines in Greek. The Greek was easy for scholars to read—it was a decree by Memphis priests in 196 BC honoring Egyptian King Ptolemy V. At the time, no one could read the other two scripts.

In 1822, Frenchman Jean-François Champollion recognized that the monument contained the same decree in three languages. Going from Greek to demotic, and from demotic to hieroglyphics, Champollion could finally read the entire monument. It became the key to unlocking our understanding of hieroglyphics, ancient Egypt’s first written language. This, in turn, led to the translation of many Egyptian texts that corroborate and illuminate Biblical history.

(For further information, see “Reading the Rosetta Stone,” pp. 20-35 in The Story of Writing, by Andrew Robinson, London: Thames & Hudson, 2001.)

 

Research RSS Feed

AddThis Feed Button

Recent Articles

Are the stories of the Bible history, or mythology? The science of archaeology can help to provide the...
When Jacob and his family migrated to Egypt, they were settled in “the land of Rameses.” The Bible tells...
Mount Moriah -- the Mountain of the LORD. More than 4,000 years of recorded history have been played...
Statistical data has been flashing warning signs about the young people in our churches...
Associates for Biblical Research
  • PO Box 144, Akron, PA 17501
  • Phone: +1 717-859-3443 | Fax: +1 717-859-3393
  • Toll Free: 1-800-430-0008
Friend ABR on Facebook.com Join us on Twitter Join us on Twitter