Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

This photo was posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters.

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Replica of the Rosetta Stone as originally displayed

Despite having always complained about having to learn languages – I was quite the lazy language student at school – and still doing so as I go to my Turkish classes everyday,  there is nothing more fascinating in how the modern languages we speak now have evolved and the rich history behind their evolution. ‘The Rosetta Stone’ is probably one of my favourite exhibits at the British Museum and I did get a little bit upset when I couldn’t get to see the original one (along with the mummies) because some of the Egyptian Rooms were closed for renovations during my brief visit to London in February. I did at least get to play around with its replica found in the King’s Library at the museum!

The inscriptions on the stone represent a decree, written in three different scripts, issued in 196 BC by a council of priests to honour the Egyptian Pharaoh and have been the key to understanding hieroglyphs. The first two parts of the stone are carved Egyptian, the upper text in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs usually used for religious documents and the middle in Demotic, the common script at the time. The third and lowest part is written in Ancient Greek, the official language of the court. A translation of the text can be found here. Definitely should be on your need-to-see-in-London list.

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