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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > June 2015 > In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

When it was discovered in 1799, the Rosetta Stone unlocked the secrets to the mysterious and unreadable hieroglyphs


What is it?

The Rosetta Stone is a large block of black granite, over 2,000 years old, that was rediscovered in Egypt in 1799. It was a remarkable find as it contains inscriptions that enabled scholars to learn how to read hieroglyphs that were previously indecipherable.

What were its origins?

The Rosetta Stone can be traced back to 332 BC, when the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. From then on, Egypt was ruled by a Greek dynasty, the majority of whom - confusingly - were called Ptolemy. In 205 BC, Ptolemy V succeeded to the throne while still a young child. The dynasty’s grip on power was fragile, following the troubled reign of his ineffective father, Ptolemy IV.

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June 2015 issue of History Revealed