So, you’ve read the riddle on our Facebook page, what do you think the mystery artefact is? Read on to find out…

The Rosetta Stone

For thousands of year’s humans have enjoyed working things out, solving problems or brain teasers. Remember Maths lessons where your teacher said and today we are going to begin Algebra”.

I know I was very worried that I would not be able to understand what to do, only to find it was not as scary as it sounded, at least at its most basic level!

What does A+B+C= ?

To find this answer, we must first know the key to decoding the problem. In this case it is this: KEY A=1 B=2 C=3 Therefore 1+2+3=6

Early archaeologists discovered the pyramids with hieroglyphs* and spent years trying to decode the messages to find out the secrets of what lay within. The difficulty was they didn’t have a key. They didn’t know what the symbols meant.

In 1799 French soldiers were rebuilding a fort in Egypt. In tearing down one of the walls they came across a piece of black granite inscribed in three different scripts, Greek, Egyptian Demotic, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics. It is believed to have been carved more than 2000 years ago.

Why do we think there were three different scripts?

We believe the reason for the 3 scripts is that all three were being used in Egypt at that time. Greek was the language of the rulers at that time.

The difference between the scripts, Egyptian demotic and Egyptian hieroglyphics is hieroglyphics were used for important or religious documents, and therefore more formal. While Demotic was the common script at that time. This allowed the message to be accessible to all.

How was this so?

The same message was written three times in three different ways providing a key to reading the message on the Rosetta Stone. Ultimately this gave archaeologists the key to unlock the secrets of the messages carved into the stone on the pyramids. The discovery was very significant and therefore important to history.


*Hieroglyphs is a shortened word from hieroglyphics and means the same.

To find out more and have the opportunity to read a translation head over to: British Museum Egyptian Gallery


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