THE ROSETTA STONE,THE BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON
Have you ever heard of The Rosetta Stone ? Why not visit The British Museum in London where you will find this ancient stone which is one of the earliest letter inscriptions in the world ?
The Rosetta Stone is a stele which depicts a tax exemption from The Monarch to the priesthood which was made as a decree used on behalf of King Ptolemy V at Memphis in Egypt in 196 BC. It was written by a group of priests to honour the Egyptian Pharaoh listing all the good things that he had achieved for the priests and the people.
The Rosetta Stone is one of the earliest letter inscriptions in stone in the world. It was found in a temple near Sais by The French in 1799. Today, however, The Rosetta Stone is housed at The British Museum in London where it is the most visited exhibit in the Museum.
It is made of black granodiorite ( a dark, course-grained, igneous, plutonic rock) with a detailed inscription in three different scripts: The upper script is in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle is Democtic which uses phonetic characters to spell foreign names, and the lowest is in Ancient Greek. It is the first bilingual text to be discovered in modern times, and was the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. Jean Francois Champollian in 1822 worked out what the seven demotic signs in Coptic were and then traced these signs back to the hieroglyphs.
WHERE DOES THE ROSETTA STONE ORIGINATE?
The Rosetta Stone comes from a granodiorite quarry at Glebel Tingar on the west bank of The Nile in the region of Aswan. When it was first discovered, it was mistakenly believed to be made of black basalt as it was very dark. However, once it was cleaned, the dark grey tint began to appear with a sparkle of crystalline and a pink vein running through the stone which confirmed that it was made from granodiorite.
The Rosetta Stone is a fragment from a larger stele. It measures 1123mm x 757mm x 284mm (45in x 28.5in x 11in) and weighs 760kgs. The front surface is polished with the inscriptions lightly incised and the sides are smooth with a rough back.
STONE LETTER CARVING COURSE WITH SIMON BURNS-COX
If you are interested in Stone and Lettering, why not try a Stone Letter Carving Course with Simon Burns-Cox? Simon runs a The Two Day Introductory Course in Stone Letter Carving at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. (Please see details below). Simon Burns-Cox is a professional Sculptor and Letter Carver based in Edinburgh. He runs a variety of Stone Letter Carving Courses throughout the year.