Ancient Egyptian Rosetta Stone. It is a giant stone with 3 types of writing carved onto it: Greek, Egyptian, and another form of Egyptian writing.

The famous Rosetta Stone is a black granite slab inscribed with three ancient texts — two Egyptian and one Greek. It ultimately helped researchers decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, whose meaning had eluded historians for centuries. But why did ancient scribes include three different kinds of writing, or scripts, on this iconic stone in the first place?

The reason the stone has a trio of scripts ultimately stems from the legacy of one of Alexander the Great‘s generals. The Greek text on the stone is linked with Egypt’s Ptolemaic dynasty, founded by Ptolemy I Soter, a Greek-speaking Macedonian general of Alexander’s. Alexander conquered Egypt in 332 B.C., and Ptolomy I Soter seized control of the country nine years later following Alexander’s death. (Cleopatra, who died in 30 B.C., was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic line.)

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