In the beginning, in ancient Egypt,
over 5000 years ago, scribes wrote things down using pictures. That
was a scribe's job, to write things down. Scribes used a system of
pictures to do so. These pictures were called hieroglyphics. It was
beautiful art. Each symbol had a meaning. But it took time to write
things down using hieroglyphics. The scribes needed a faster way to
write, because the ancient Egyptians loved to write things down. The
scribes created a new written language called Demotic script.
Many years later, when archaeologists
discovered hieroglyphic writing on the walls of tombs, they could not
read it. They knew the pictures had meaning. But the best they could
do was to guess what those pictures meant.
One day, about 200 years ago, someone
found a stone in ancient Egypt, a very old stone. There was some
writing on the stone. It was a very short story. The same story was
written in Greek, in Demotic script, and again in hieroglyphics.
Scientists could read Greek. They could even read Demotic script. And
now they could read hieroglyphics!
This stone was named the Rosetta Stone.
The Rosetta Stone is currently on display at the British Museum in
(story, game, and challenge)
hieroglyphic typewriter (interactive)
in ancient hieroglyphics (magic book lesson, cartoon format, flash)
a Buried Message (game, museum of science)