History : Jun-Jul 2015
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 21 1801 The victorious British Army forces French scholars to hand over the Rosetta stone, which is transferred to the British Museum in London. 1802 Johan David Åkerblad publishes his Letter to Monsieur de Sacy, the first study of the stone, in which he deciphers 29 symbols. 1814 Thomas Young, a British doctor, physicist, biologist, and linguist, successfully translates the stone’s demotic text. 1822 By studying the stone alongside other texts, Jean-François Champollion unravels the workings of the hieroglyphic system. FRANSLEMMENS/GETTYIMAGES ABU SIMBEL This great temple in southern Egypt was excavated by the Italian archaeologist G. B . Belzoni in 1817, in the great wave of archaeological expeditions that followed Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt.