A very happy Friday everyone!

On this day in 1799, during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic.

It was French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion who ultimately deciphered the hieroglyphics. Once the Rosetta Stone inscriptions were translated, the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.