The Rosetta Stone is arguably the most crucial discovery in all Egyptology. It was crafted in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic Dynasty and was found in 1799 by a French soldier, Pierre-François Bouchard.
The stone is significant because it holds the same decree written in three different languages - Hieroglyphs, Demotic Script and Ancient Greek.
Up until it’s discovery Ancient Hieroglyphs we’re still a complete mystery but by comparing the three different languages the Hieroglyphs could be deciphered and understood for the very first time. This opened up the door to Egyptian History.
The stone is a fragment that was part of a much larger stele that was most likely displayed in a temple - possibly at nearby Sais. Due to its damaged state, none of the three texts is totally complete.
The decree itself refers to Ptolemy V, his coronation and his divine cultic power.
The stone has been the focus of fierce debate as to where it should be displayed. It was discovered during the Napoleonic conquest in Egypt and then transported back to London once the British had defeated Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Rosetta Stone remains the focus of curiosity and wonder. If it wasn’t for its discovery all those centuries ago it could have taken hundreds of years to finally unlock the door to Ancient Egypt.