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The Rosetta Stone (Help Please)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:10 pm 
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How did the Rosetta Stone help decipher hieroglyphs , any help would be great (got some homework due tomorrow)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:16 pm 
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I hope this isn't too late, but here's the jist of it.

The stone came with writing on it, writing in three different languages. These were Latin, Coptic and Hieroglyphic.

We already knew Latin at the time it was found, and Coptic was known, too. But the Hieroglyphs were still a mystery.

One day, a young French boy, I think, who was well-versed in Coptic by the time he was twelve, cracked the code by filling in the blanks.

How he did it, I don't know. For me, it's a matter of rememberance of other people's findings. Figuring it out is beyond me!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:43 am 
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No, I'm sorry Unas, the languages were linear B (ancient greek), ieratic and demotic.
The scholar that you kindly define as a "young boy", was indeed a very well known egyptologist of the time, Jean Fran├žois Champoillon, who already found the way to decifrate hiero, but the finding of this stone helped him finding more precise proove of his theories on the interpretation of the way of writing and language.
Everything can be found on the web or, in case I can help with more infos.

sorry Unas.. :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:17 pm 
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The three scripts on the stone were Ancient Greek, Demotic, and Hieroglyph (not Hieratic). Demotic (from the Greek demotika meaning "popular") was derived from Hieratic (Greek for "priestly"). Hieratic was a cursive form of Hieroglyphs that was used mainly for written texts (as opposed to carved). Demotic was an even more abreviated version of Hieroglyphs which was widely used by the Late Period.

Champollion had speculated that the Hieroglyph language was not purely a pictorgraph form of writing. His theory was that it also used phenomes (symbols that stand for a 'sound' not just a concept or word) in addtion to pictographs. Up until then, those who studied the writing, such as Thomas Young (english physicist) thought it to be purely pictorgraphical. There were a few instances that Champollion was able to use Coptic words and phonemes in Egyptian names, such as Rameses but not enough to validate his theory.

Champollion just needed the right break through to prove his theory, and it came in the form of the Rossetta Stone. He knew the name Ptolemy appeared several times in the Greek section of the stone. He saw the cartouches in the Hieroglyphs section and presuming it held the name of something or someone important, he applied his theory to the glyphs that made up Ptolemy's name (Ptolemaois in it original form) and he had the glyphs for P T O L M I I S (remember foreign names in ancient Egypt were spelled out phonetically instead of bilitleral or triliteral signs). He needed another reference to confirm his theory and found the cartouche of Cleopatra and thus matched the glyphs for L I O P in her name (Kliopadra) to those in Ptolemy's. From there it snowballed and he was able to match many many more glyphs.


Last edited by Neb-Ma'at-Re on Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:20 pm 
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oops...I just wrote down what quickly came up in my mind, I didn't rely on any book or google, and you caught me wrong...yes it was hieroglyph and not hieratic, you are right.....


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:20 pm 
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Well, I can't be right all the time. I was remembering from a book I haven't been able to locate for a long while...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:26 am 
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BTW - there's a really good series on about Egypt playing in the UK, made by the BBC. It's a series of dramas based on the lives of several key Egyptologists. They've already done Carter, outlining his uneasy relationship with Lord Canarvon, as well as Belzoni. The series has given some fascinating insights into the discernable characters behind these leading figures- it's been really interesting.

Next week Champolion is under the spotlight. Something to do with his discoveries contradicting the bible or something. It looks really interesting, and remarkably everything that's been shown doesn't seem hugely dubious - which is unusual for a docu-drama.

I recommend it.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:40 am 
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It should be great that everyone could have free vision of it... I explain: I think it requires some access to pay tv such as satellitar channels, but, any persons can't afford it! By the way it could be interesting to see it! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:53 pm 
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i wish i could see it..live in the USA though :(


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:09 am 
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It was so interesting! The last program documented how Champollion managed to secure international repute in Britain, France and Turin (even being offered the post of a cardinal by Pope Leo. . . despite the fact that he was married with a child) and also outwit rival scholars, dating the Dendera zodiac correctly using the cartouche inscribed with 'autocrator' near the foot of one of the goddesses.

He was granted leave for an expedition to Egypt by the King of France, but was forbidden to publish anything which directly contradicted the Bible. It stated that Great Flood occured in 2349 BC with the total destruction of all civillisation and any contrary evidence in Egypt was seen as a threat to the Church. When he arrived himself in Egypt he discovered (using Egyptian lineage) that the Egyptian civilisation had continued unaffected by the flood, and he kept notes on the subject in his secret diary - written in French and Coptic. He also discovered, perhaps most amazingly of all, the purpose behind the Egyptian tombs. Their purpose had remained unknown for two thousand years.

Unfortunately whilst in Egypt the shock and strains led Champollion to develop blood clots that later escalated into a full stroke. Whilst dying he revealed the connotations of his discoveries to his team of seven artisans, whom he had taught the hieroglyphic language, and he died only a few weeks after returning to France.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:05 am 
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Champollion also found that the then supposed sounds made sounds for a name too, along with the symbols. When he took the Cartouche with Ramses' name in it, He found the SUN symbol for the sun god Ra, the symbol that seemed like the Coptic 'M' and the symbol making the 'S' sound.

Together, he made:

Image

[RA] [M] [S]

Ramses.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Ankhy said:

i wish i could see it..live in the USA though

It was shown here in the U.S. several months ago. As I remember, it was quite good and I enjoyed it very much.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:25 am 
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It whas Thomas Young who first decided some hieroglyphs were alphabetic not champollion.
Young was a polymath - I have just started a biography of him called 'The last man who knew everything' - the claim was an exageration but not by that much.
He was more interested in demotic (or enchorial as he called it) as he made a good guess about the sort of stuff that would be written in hieroglyphs.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:15 pm 
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Well I didn't say Champollion found you can make sounds out of glyphs, I just meant he took advantage of that and decided to use it to depcit Ramses' name.


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