Communication through a stone

Essay by Alanna06666High School, 10th gradeA+, January 2005

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Until the discovery of the Rosetta stone, there were large blanks in what historians knew about Egyptian hieroglyphics, no one could translate the language because it was unlike other languages seen in the past. Egyptian Hieroglyphics could not have been translated without this stone. Before the finding of the Rosetta stone all ideas of what hieroglyphics could be were all speculation with no way to prove the theories true or false. The translation process was extremely arduous because hieroglyphics were not like other scripts that had been translated previously. Without the Rosetta Stone linguists would not have been able to piece together enough information to truly uncover the secrets of hieroglyphs. The translation of the Rosetta stone helped fill in the large gaps of unknown Egyptian history.

All original ideas of what kind of language hieroglyphics could be were all speculation before the Rosetta Stone was found, with no way to prove the theories true or false.

As early as the first century BC a Greek historian names Diodorus Siculus commenting on hieroglyphs wrote: "Now it happens that the forms of their letters take the shape of all kinds of living creatures and of the extremities of the human body and of implements... For their writing does not express the intended idea by a combination of syllables, one with another, but by the outward appearance, of what has been copied and by the metaphorical meaning impressed upon the memory by practice... So the hawk symbolizes for them everything which happens quickly because this creature is just about the fastest of the winged animals. And the idea is transferred, through the appropriate metaphorical transfer, to all swift things and to those things to which speed is appropriate."(Andrews 8) Scholars of the 16th and 17th century believed that hieroglyphs were purely...