For many years researches tried to decode ancient hieroglyphs, though unfortunately they never had any huge success. But when the Rosetta stone was found in 1799, huge progress in decoding the language was made.
Researchers found out that the texts engraved in the stone represent a decree issued in 196 BC on behalf of the ruler Ptolemy V. The writing was divided into three sections, each written in a different language: ancient Greek, hieroglyphs and Demotic.
When Jean-François Champollion heard about this incredible find he was fascinated and started his research. By comparing the familiar Greek text with the hieroglyphs, he saw that there were 1419 hieroglyphs but only 486 Greek words. Champollion concluded that a single hieroglyph does not represent a single word.

As he undertook further research, he was able to decode the name of Ptolemy V. It also turned out that Hieroglyphic signs can have different meanings. Some represent words, while others only represent sounds. Another form only emphasizes the word’s meaning.

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Rosetta Stone