Why the Stela of Rosetta was not the key to hieroglyphs
Everyone knows the story of how hieroglyphs were translated. Napoleon’s troops discovered the Rosetta Stone, which had a parallel Greek translation of its hieroglyphic and hieratic inscriptions, the brilliant Frenchman Jean-Francois Champollion used this to decipher hieroglyphs and announced his breakthrough to the world in the famous Lettre à Monsieur Dacier. Except that it wasn’t quite that straightforward. Join Chris Elliott to find out why the full story takes us from one end of Egypt to the other, who the Lighthouse and the Laser were, and about the Myth of the Rosetta Stone.
Dr Chris Elliott studies the afterlife of Ancient Egypt, how we understand, value, and are influenced by Pharaonic Egypt. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Archaeology at Southampton University, where he completed his PhD. He is the author of Egypt in England, a study of and guide to Egyptian style architecture and interiors in England, and his book Needles from the Nile: Obelisks and the Past as Property from Liverpool University Press is scheduled for publication in Spring 2022. He lectures to a wide range of groups and organisations throughout the United Kingdom, and by video to international audiences.
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