Encyclopedia of History
Home > Encyclopedia of History

Rosetta Stone



An inscribed basalt slab, discovered in 1799, which provided the key to hieroglyphics. About 1.2 meters long and 0.75 meter wide, it is inscribed with identical texts in Greek, Egyptian demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Decipherment was begun by Thomas Young (c.1818) and completed by Jean François Champollion (c.1821–22). Found near Rosetta, Egypt, it is now in the British museum.