The Rosetta Stone is a granitoid slab inscribed in hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek with identical texts of a decree by a council of priests during the reign of Ptolemy V. Part of a stele dating from 196 B.C., it was found (1799) by Napoleon's troops near the city, was taken (1801) by the British, and since 1802 has been displayed at the British Museum. It gave Jean-François Champollion, Thomas Young, and others the key to Egyptian hieroglyphic.
See study by R. B. Parkinson (1999).
The Rosetta Stone, with Egyptian hieroglyphs in the top section, demotic characters in the middle, elipsis
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With the decline of Alexandria following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in the 16th century, Rashid boomed, only to wane in importance after Alexandria's revival. During the 19th century it was a popular British tourist destination, known for its charming Ottoman mansions, citrus groves and cleanliness.
The town of Rashid came to be known in the West as Rosetta, the name by which it was referred to by the French during Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt. It is famous as the site where the Rosetta Stone was found by French soldiers in 1799.
It also witnessed the defeat of the 1807 British Fraser campaign trying to occupy Egypt after the French army left Egypt.
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