The Rosetta Stone is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of all time. It is a large piece of granite that is inscribed with Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic script and Ancient Greek. It is inscribed with a decree from 196 BC and because each language is a direct translation of the decree modern archaeologists were able to use it to get a better understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The ability to translate hieroglyphics has led to a better understanding of Ancient Egyptian history. If you have ever wondered who discovered this important piece of history, read on to find the answer.
Who discovered the Rosetta Stone?
In 1798 Napoleon launched a military campaign into Egypt and Syria. On July 15, 1799, some French soldiers were extending Fort Julien in the town of Rosetta by removing the ancient walls. During this work Pierre-François Bouchard discovered the large piece of Granite with three different languages inscribed on it. Fortunately, he recognized that it may be important and notified the general Jacques-François Menou of his discovery. It quickly gained the name la Pierre de Rosette (the Rosetta Stone) and was recognized very quickly to be a very important discovery. The first person to provide a translation of the stone was Jean-François Champollion in 1822.
When the French were defeated by British forces in 1801 the stone became a possession of the British and it remains in Britain today. It can be seen today, in a protective case, in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery at the British Museum.