Rosetta Stone

A technique for communicating novel information using elements of common understanding.

At some point during the fourth century, all knowledge about ancient Egyptian scripts was lost, leaving no way to decipher extant hieroglyphics found on papyrus documents, stone tablets, and Egyptian monuments. Then in 1799, Napoleon’s army discovered an Egyptian artifact that contained writing in classical Greek and ancient Egyptian. This Rosetta stone, as it would become known, enabled scholars to use their extensive knowledge of Greek to comparatively translate the Egyptian texts, which turned out to be hieroglyphics and Demotic, a cursive form of hieroglyphic script. The Rosetta stone illustrates the power of embedding elements of common ...

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