[FRANCE.PERIGORDQUERCY 30294] ’Replica of Rosetta Stone in Figeac.’
’Replica of Rosetta Stone in Figeac.’
Surrounded by medieval buildings, the Place des Écritures in Figeac has an enormous granite replica of the Rosetta Stone underfoot. The texts on the stone made it possible for Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832) to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphic script. Champollion was born in a nearby house, which now is a museum dedicated to his life and to signs and writing in general.
The original Rosetta Stone is a stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis (Egypt) in 196 BC on behalf of Pharaoh Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script (which is also of Ancient Egyptian origin), and the lowest Ancient Greek. The stone was later used as building material for a fort near the town of Rosetta (nowadays Rashid) where it was discovered by the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt in 1799. It is now kept in the British Museum. The replica in Figeac was made by Joseph Kusuth.
In this picture a patch of sun illuminates a string of hieroglyphs that are surrounded by an elongated oval, a so-called cartouche. The cartouche holds the name of King Ptolemy and was one of the first words which were deciphered in the hieroglyphic text. Photo Mick Palarczyk.