On Astronomy’s August tour of London, some 25 readers and I had the great pleasure of seeing many important astronomical sites in England. One of the first days we were there, the group visited the British Museum, where I shot a video walk-around of the Rosetta Stone and the large Egyptian artifacts gallery.
The Rosetta Stone is famous as being an ancient Egyptian stele that was discovered in building materials used in the construction of Fort Julien in Rashid (Rosetta), Egypt. It was found by a soldier in 1799 and made its way into the inventory of the British Army in 1801, and to London and the British Museum.
Made of granodiorite, the stone contains portions of a written decree of King Ptolemy V made at Memphis in 196 b.c. The Rosetta Stone records the same passage in three languages — hieroglyphs, Demotic, and Greek — and so was used to decipher hieroglyphs, an historic breakthrough in Egyptology.
The video also surveys other large objects from the museum’s Egyptian collection, one of the greatest outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Enjoy the video, and I will post more of these soon.