|The Rosetta Stone. Picture used with the permission and courtesy of the British Museum. (C) Trustees of the British Museum. I have a link to the translation at the end of the piece.|
|Thanks, whomever made this. Damn, Agent Smith. You are creepy.|
Lots of people worked on the puzzle of Hieroglyphs, though one person is generally given credit for opening the flood gates of time. Having said that, we’re talking about HISTORY. History is a story requiring constant poking with pointy sticks to make sure the plot stays solid. Furthermore, it must be accompanied by thorough delousing to keep the characters free from parasites. There is still some academic debate over how to weigh the contributions of those involved. For example, the sources I used (including but not limited to: Wikipedia, Bob Brier, Ph.D., the BBC, online encyclopedias, and book excerpts from the late 1800’s by E.A.Budge) had conflicting accounts of varying degrees of who did what and how and when and with what! Again, there is someone who gets the primary credit for cracking Hieroglyphs but there was an unaffiliated, unorganized group effort at work so to give 100% credit to only one person is simply not accurate. Therefore, I will present the two people I think deserve most of the credit. Spoiler Alert: I tend to agree with Dr. Brier.
Get your pointy sticks ready.
But what are Hieroglyphs, anyway? There was ongoing debate at the time over whether they were a type of alphabet or picture writing. Thomas was a doctor by training. He also enjoyed physics, languages, optics, and listening to Europop. That last one surprised me, too. Anyway, Thomas knew there was an idea floating about that the oval cartouches (from the French word for bullet) might hold the names of kings. So, given the Rosetta Stone was about Ptolemy V, then how could it be picture writing? The symbols within the cartouche were not unique. In fact, they were common glyphs found many times spread out on the Stone amongst the others. That implied they might be letters. That then implied that if it was treated like a substitute cipher (my words) starting with the letters in Ptolemy’s name as a basis, then perhaps the remaining symbols could be matched with their Greek and Demotic counterparts. Such was his thought. Turned out, Young was correct. He was able to figure out what several glyphs sounded like (based on their Greek counterparts) while expanding a bit about what was known about demotic. Sound is important! (For the record, Demotic comes from the Greek root words ‘demos’ from which we get democracy.) Tommy Boy is better known for his work on the fundamental understanding of light and color. Just saying.
Be seeing you,
(2) Read my interview with Robert here ----> http://strongarmlabs.blogspot.com/2017/02/robert-clotworthy-you-know-his-voice.html