The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir will open for free on September 27

FILE – Egyptian Museum of Tahrir

CAIRO – September 25, 2022: The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir will open for free to the public on September 27, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone and the emergence of Egyptology. All Egyptians, Arabs, nationals of African countries and foreign residents will be welcome.

The famous Rosetta Stone consists of a slab of black granite inscribed with three ancient texts, two ancient Egyptian texts and one Greek.

This formula ultimately helped researchers decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the meaning of which had eluded historians for centuries. But why did the ancient scribes include three different types of writing or text on this iconic stone in the first place?

The reason for the existence of three texts stems from the legacy of one of Alexander the Great’s generals, as the Greek text on the stone is related to the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt founded by Ptolemy I Soter. Soter was a Greek-speaking Macedonian general from the family of Alexander.

Alexander conquered Egypt in 332 BC. BC and Ptolemy I Soter took control of the country 9 years later after the death of Alexander, while Cleopatra, who died in 30 BC. was the last active female ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

The Rosetta Stone was revealed by the French expedition in 1799 during the construction of a fort in the city of Rosetta. The stone was not complete. It was a broken part of a larger slab, but although it was missing much of the hieroglyphics from the long-lost upper part, the stone bears the same messages engraved in ancient Greek writing; Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Egyptian demotic script, which was a connecting script used by the ancient Egyptians between the 7th century BC and the 5th century AD, according to Britannica.

“The Demotic Egyptian script was the contemporary language used in everyday speech as well as in administrative documents,” Foy Scalf, head of research archives and research associate at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, told AFP. LiveScience.

On the other hand, the “hieroglyphic grammar mimics the Middle Egyptian language”, which is the stage of the Egyptian language associated with the Middle Kingdom period in Egypt. It stretched from around 2044 BC until 1650 BC.

In the Ptolemaic era, Middle Egyptian was often used for very formal inscriptions, as Egyptian scribes considered it a classic version of their language whose tradition gave authority to the text.

Ancient Greek became widely used in ancient Egypt among the literate class during the Ptolemaic dynasty. Modern scholars were still trying to understand it at the time of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. As such, the stone has helped researchers decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics and Demotic script, two different scripts of the same language.

The use of hieroglyphics began to die out after the Romans took control of Egypt in 30 BC with the appearance of the last known Egyptian hieroglyphic script in the fourth century AD, as Britannica indicates.

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