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All Good Things come in Threes

The Rosetta Stone and the Decipherment of Ancient Egyptian

Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig
Ägyptologisches Institut/Ägyptisches Museum -GeorgSteindorff- der Universität Leipzig
Lehrstuhl für Digital Humanities der Universität Leipzig
StiL - Studieren in Leipzig, Exzellenzinitiative des BMBF
University of Florida
The British Museum


Scan in London - view of the Rosetta Stone

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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The showcase was opened for the scan.
London Scan4.jpg
Usually behind glass: The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum in London

Dear Guests!

A warm welcome to this digital exhibition “All Good Things come in Threes: The Rosetta Stone and the Decipherment of Ancient Egyptian”. We’re glad you found your way to this domain.

This website serves two purposes: It provides a historic overview of the Rosetta Stone as well as current research enhanced through Digital Humanities methods and serves as new online format to share museum contents. If you would like to know more about this, please listen to the audio guide on one of the following slides.


There is also a German version of this exhibition available here: https://ausstellungen.deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de/stein-von-rosette/.



Structure of this Exhibition

This exhibition contains several parts.

  • Part 1 (dark green background) deals with the Rosetta Stone as a historical artifact.

  • Part 2 (creamy white background) comments on the Rosetta Stone‘s role in the decipherment of hieroglyphs.

  • Part 3 (light green background) explains the creation of a new 3D model of the Stone.

  • Part 4 (blue background) introduces a new way to learn languages through the young academic discipline of “Digital Humanities” and how the Rosetta Stone‘s inscriptions can serve as an model.




Audio Guide Rosetta Stone about the Reason for this Exhibition

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The Reason for this Exhibition (with Audio Guide)

You can start the audio guide by clicking on the play button on the left side of the screen.

The text of the audio guide runs as follows:

Dear guests, once again a warm welcome to this digital exhibition! My name is Franziska Naether. I‘m an Egyptologist at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities and at Leipzig University in Germany. Together with Monica Berti, I‘m leading the “Digital Rosetta Stone Project“. This show is the outcome of our research and teaching on this object - probably one of the most famous ancient artifacts.

Every year, about six million people visit the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum in London. This would indicate that it is the most popular museum object in the whole United Kingdom. Maybe you have been there, too – or you have heard of the Rosetta Stone. Numerous merchandising products but also a language school, music bands and a comet bear its name. If you stand in front of the stone, at first glance, you might not see very much – apart from a large number of people – and then yourself because of the reflections on the showcase. It is not easy to spot the details of the ancient inscriptions or to grasp the material of the monument.

The Rosetta Stone originates in the city of Rosetta in Egypt, today‘s (Al-)Rashid. In the year 1822, the monument became famous because it enabled Jean-François Champollion to decipher the Ancient Egyptian language. In 2022, it will be 200 years since then. In order to celebrate this event, the British Museum will curate a special exhibition on how the stone came to London. Before this, you can get a few insights – on the history of the Rosetta Stone, its contents, the research on Ancient Egyptian – and this by the means of Egyptology intertwined with Digital Humanities.

In the “Digital Rosetta Stone Project“, Egyptologists work hand in hand with Computer Scientists. You can find our results so far at the end of this digital exhibition. And – this I promise you – photography without mirroring effects, because in the team, we created new 3D images of the stone.

Additionally, this exhibition serves another purpose: the project aims to showcase the possibilities of the digital age to show objects online. It is a prototype for several research institutions in Saxony and beyond. May there be more digital exhibitions created! Therefore, you can get in touch with me not only in case of questions on the contents of the Rosetta Stone but also in terms of the ‘making of‘. You can find my contact details at the end of this show.

But now, the Digital Rosetta Stone team and I wish you a lot of joy and moments of ‘edutainment’ with the Rosetta Stone and its three inscriptions. Please follow me on a journey to Ancient Egypt at the time of the Ptolemaic pharaohs – and to London!  





New 3D Scan of the Rosetta Stone

Priests, Ptolemaios V, Rosetta, Egypt, The British Museum, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Stela, Decree, 3D Modell in 2D (image file), 196 BCE, Rosetta / Rashid, Egypt

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new scan of the Digital Rosetta Stone Project (shape-from-shading)
RosettaStone 3D Bild_MediumQuality, Foto A. Barmpoutis + E. Bozia.jpg

Introduction

The Rosetta Stone is of great importance because it bears an inscription in three versions. This enabled scholars to decipher the Ancient Egyptian language. The text itself is a decree, i.e. a regulation with executive orders. The rules have been issued by the Egyptian king Ptolemy V (210-180 BCE) together with priests from all over the country during a meeting (called a “synod“). The results of this synod had to be publicized in all temples.

This was done by the text in the three languages: Middle Egyptian (written in hieroglyphs), Demotic, and Ancient Greek. Since Middle Egyptian and Demotic belong to the same language family, sometimes the text is called a “bilingual“ inscription. The upper part in hieroglyphs represents an archaic and traditional variant of the text. Contrary to this, Demotic and Ancient Greek were the languages of daily life and the administration at that time. With these, the multicultural population of Ptolemaic Egypt interacted with each other. Thus, we can say: All good things come in threes!



01

Part 1: History and Background



Photo of the Rosetta Stone (British Museum display of 1985)

photo: RickDikeman, Wikimedia Commons, photo, July 1985, The British Museum, London

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Patrons at the British Museum view the Rosetta Stone in 1985
Rosetta-stone-display-in-1985.jpg
The presentation of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, 1985. The script was whitened by chalk to be more legible.


Side views of the Rosetta Stone

Foto: Captmondo, photo, 2008, London

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The modern inscriptions on the sides of the Rosetta Stone are fainted but we can read (left): "Captured in Egypt by the British Army in 1801" and (right) "Presented by King George III".
RosettaStone-LeftAndRightSides-BritishMuseum-August21-08.jpg
The sides with modern inscriptions, left: "Captured in Egypt by the British Army in 1801"; right: "Presented by King George III".


Rosetta Stone Dress

photo

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There is barely another museum artefact that is as commercially marketed as the Rosetta Stone - by mechandise from the shop of the British Museum, or, as seen here, in fashion.
Rosetta Dress.jpg
Probably no other museum object has been marketed so tremendously – by merchandising products of the British Museum or, e.g., in fashion


Glass slide with a depiction of the Rosetta Stone, Greifswald

glass slide, 20th century, Greifswald

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The Gustaf Dalman Institute houses 3,195 glass slides with motifs from Israel and Egypt. The photographs have been taken by Gustaf Dalman and his fellows, by professional photographers, and by publishers from Jerusalem, Germany, (Deutsches Reich), and English-speaking countries.
Der Stein von Rosette - Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek.png
Plaster casts and glass slide plates like this from the Gustaf-Dalman-Collection in Greifswald exist in vast numbers all over the world.


Collage with Rosetta-related items on sale in the British Museum

photo, 2020, London

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items featuring the design of the Rosetta Stone from the online shop of the British Museum
Rosetta-Collage BM.jpg
Products with the Rosetta Stone for sale in the British Museum


Facsimile Rosetta Stone Naether

Photo: Daniel Niemetz (MDR), photo, 2019, Leipzig

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Facsimile of the Rosetta Stone in original size (the poster is part of a publication of the British Museum; the image here shows the volume in possession of the Leipzig University Library)
Franziska Naether MDR Facs RS.jpg
Facsimile of the stone true to size (part of a publication by the British Museum, shown here the copy of Leipzig University‘s Egyptological library)


Reconstruction of the stela of which the Rosetta Stone was originally a part

A. Parrot, 19.01.2020, British Museum, London

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Reconstruction of the stela
2000px-RosettaStoneAsPartOfOriginalStele_revised.svg_white background.png

Facts and Figures

It might have looked like this – the stone with its three inscriptions, on top perhaps a depiction of the Egyptian king, pharaoh Ptolemy V offering gifts to the gods.

In 196 BCE, the year of the synod and the decree, he was only 13 years old. The Rosetta Stone originates in the city of Rosetta in the Western Nile Delta, today‘s Al-Rashid— hence the name. There, it was found integrated in the wall of a fortress.

It is made of granodiorite, a hard and almost black stone, most probably cut from a rock in Southern Egypt. It weighs around 760 kg (1675 lb) and measures 114,1 cm in height, 72,3 cm in width, and 27.93 cm in thickness. The original height must have been around 150 cm.

The inscription contains 14 lines of hieroglyphs, 32 lines Demotic, and 54 lines Ancient Greek text. None of the versions is completely preserved. The upper part is missing 14 or 15 lines of hieroglyphs and the supposed relief of the so-called „lunette“ of the stela.

Today, the Rosetta Stone is housed in the British Museum in London under the inventory number BM EA 24.





'Say, Rosetta, what's that stone you're working on?'

Sidney Harris, Comic

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Rosetta comic by Sidney Harris
shrn1471_hi.jpg
Cartoon by Sidney Harris

Three Languages – one Decree I

The Rosetta Stone shows how the crown and religious leaders informed the Egyptian population about decision-making: by decree. In general, those are executive orders of a sovereign or a head of state, which supplement existing laws. That‘s why the stone is also known as the “Decree of Memphis“. The decisions were made before at a priestly synod in Alexandria. At this event, pharaoh Ptolemy V and his legal custodians met with selected priests from the most influential temples of Egypt. In conclusion, the Rosetta Stone is a joint product of king and clergy: both parties wanted to be understood in a harmony of “checks and balances“, and they wanted to speak with one voice – in three languages.

Those are the most important points of the text:
  • tax deductions for certain temples/priests and army/veterans
  • remission of debts and amnesty for certain people
  • upgrading of the fortress of Shekan/Lykopolis
  • fight against enemies of Egypt, killing them e.g. by impaling
  • offerings, good deeds, building of temples for gods and sacred animals
  • implementation of a ruler cult, consecrating a statue of the pharaoh, festival days


Three Languages – one Decree II

Towards the end of the inscription, we can read details about the erection and publication of the decree. Have a look how this was formulated in the three versions –they are not 1:1 translations!

Middle Egyptian (hieroglyphs): [One shall write] this decree on a stela of hard stone in the script of the words of god, the script of documents and the letters of the Aegeans and set it up in all the temples of first, second and third rank, beside the statue of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Ptolemy living forever, beloved of Ptah, the God who appears, possessor of goodness.

Demotic: They shall write the decree on a stela of hard stone in the script of the words of god, the script of documents and the script of the Ionians and set it up in the first-rank temples, the second-rank temples and the third-rank temples, in the vicinity of the divine image of Pharaoh living forever.

Ancient Greek: [(It has been decided) to inscribe this decree on a stela] of hard stone, in sacred and native and Greek characters and to set it up in each of the first and second [and third rank temples next to the image of the everliving king.] (all translations by C. Andrews/S. Quirke, The Rosetta Stone, London 1988)

The “Decree of Memphis“ is basically transmitted through the Rosetta Stone (there exists also the so-called „Nobaireh fragment“). Furthermore, there are more of these priestly decrees such as the “Canopus Decree“ or the “Decree of Alexandria“ from the time of the Ptolemies, the dynasty ruling Egypt from 305 until 30 BCE, a family originally from ancient Macedonia. The genre of the decree and some of its formulations seem to be of Greek decent. They were derived from honorary inscriptions known from Athens and other places. Decrees as a text type, however, have been in use in Egypt at a much earlier stage: Already pharaoh Pepi II – he reigned in the Old Kingdom from ca. 2245 until 2180 BCE – crafted a few orders in form of such a regulation. But the usage of the three scripts is a special feature of the decrees of Ptolemaic Egypt and its multilingual population: Demotic Egyptian and Ancient Greek were the languages of the administration, the more old-fashioned Middle Egyptian in hieroglyphs goes back to traditions.



He has made numerous benefactions to the Apis and Mnevis and other animals sacred in Egypt, more than those who were before did, his heart being concerned with their affairs at all times , giving whatever was desired for their burials …

The pharaoh takes care of the cult of the sacred animals, Demotic version, line 18



[The due]s of Pharaoh which fell upon the people who are in Egypt and all those under his suzerainty as Pharaoh, amounting to a great number, he has abolished them.

The pharaoh decrees certain tax deductions, Demotic version, line 7



He has taken every care to send infantry, cavalry and ships against those who came by land and sea to attack Egypt …

The pharaoh secures the Egyptian borders, Demotic version, line 12





Plaza with a replica of the Rosetta Stone in the city of Rosetta/Raschīd/ رشيد

photo: TheEgyptian/Amr Fayez, photo, December 15, 2007 (photo)

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Historical cannons and a replica of the Rosetta Stone, which are put in a plaza in mid-town of Rosetta, Egypt./Raschīd/ رشيد
Historical_cannons_in_Rosetta.JPG

The City of Rosetta on the Nile

Outside of today‘s city of Rosetta, in Arabic (Al-)Rashid in the Western Delta of the Nile, was the location of the Fort Saint Julien. There, French troops under the command of Pierre François Xavier Bouchard found the stone in 1799 as part of a wall. Subsequently, they brought it to the house of the governor in Alexandria. When France lost their hold on Egypt to Britain under king George III, the monument fell to them and was brought to London.

In Rashid, you can visit a copy of the Rosetta Stone in the city center. The Rosetta Stone must have had the same fate as most of the decrees: the massive monuments were reused in later buildings and fortifications. This explains why so few of them have been found.





Experts inspecting the Rosetta Stone during the International Congress of Orientalists of 1874

Illustrated London News; Unknown author; Wikimedia: Ranveig, graphic, 1874, London

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Scholars examining the Rosetta Stone during the International Congress of Orientalists from 1874 (Newspaper graphics from the Illustrated London News)
Rosetta_Stone_International_Congress_of_Orientalists_ILN_1874.jpg

History of Acquisition

It might have been like on this picture when experts laid their eye for the first time on the massive, dark stone with the three scripts: the well-known Ancient Greek whose missing passages could have been restored rather quickly – and the Egyptian signs that have been deciphered after 1822.

Immediately after the shipping of the stone to London, four high-quality copies were made which still exist in Oxford, Cambridge, London, and Edinburgh. Further plaster casts have been created and sold all over the world. And in the digital age, we are producing 3D models.

One aspect of the history is rarely told: The cargo load of the ship to Britain contained not only the Rosetta Stone, but also heavy sarcophagi from the time of Nectanebo I as well as precious vessels and objects from burials. This story will be told in the special exhibition of the British Museum in 2022.



Claims of Restitution

In regular intervals, there are claims that the Rosetta Stone should be given back to Egypt – likewise the bust of Nefertiti in the New Museum in Berlin and other iconic objects.

Those are difficult issues because the objects have been taken from Egypt during the period of Imperialism. The laws were different from today – laws of the European colonizers – and often highly problematic in historical view, if not out of contexts of injustice altogether. Today, it is not allowed to export artifacts from Egypt – except when loaned for a temporary exhibition. The debates on this will remain for a long time and might stir further controversies. In the past, countries have restituted objects to their countries of origin. Sometimes, this was not possible due to the fragile state of the artifacts.

One thing is also true: Some objects such as the Rosetta Stone have found a second context as a permanent representation of Egypt. As a merchandising product from socks to flash drives, their marketization made them part of modern pop culture.





Digital Rosetta Stone Project, combination logo

Miriam Amin, digital graphic, 2017, Leipzig

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Digital Rosetta Stone Project, combination logo
DRS Logo.png

Norm Data for the Rosetta Stone

linked open data on information about the Rosetta Stone in standard databases (for experts)



02

Part 2: The Decipherment of Ancient Egyptian



Jean-François Champollion, painting by Léon Cogniet

Léon Cogniet, painting, portrait, 1831

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Painting of a young man with dark hair and a beard, on a desert background
Jean-Francois Champollion, portrait by Cogniet.jpg
Jean-François Champollion, painting by Léon Cogniet

The Decipherment of Ancient Egyptian

As we know today, the Rosetta Stone was not the only artifact that gave Jean-François Champollion the key to decipher the Ancient Egyptian language and script. According to the archival research of the Egyptologist Wolfgang Schenkel, the decisive monument was the Bankes Obelisk.

But the amount of the text on the stone offered Champollion a solid base. In 1822, he presented his understanding of hieroglyphs and Demotic in comparison to Greek and also Coptic texts. He published his observations in a work called “Lettre à Monsieur Dacier“, which will be mentioned later on. By this, he won the race against his competitors Johan Åkerblad and Thomas Young who also worked on the decipherment.





Place des Ecritures, Figeac

Joseph Kosuth; Foto: Bautsch, photo (August 22, 2006), Figeac

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A giant copy of the Rosetta Stone, by Joseph Kosuth in Figeac (France), the birthplace of Jean-François Champollion.

Figeac, Champollions home town

To honor Champollion‘s academic work, a square in his home town Figeac (near Grenoble, France) is decorated with a huge display of the Rosetta Stone. There, you can visit a museum about the scripts of the world – not only Ancient Egyptian.



Reconstructions of Porson

Richard Porson; image from Wikimedia Commons: Andrew Dalby, Journal, 1812, Cambridge

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Problems in Egyptology

The Rosetta Stone was not fully preserved. The Demotic part is almost complete. The Greek part of the inscription could have been added quickly: Already in 1806, Richard Porson proposed a reading based on parallels as in the picture. He was able to reconstruct the missing text in the lower right corner. Solutions for the hieroglyphic part, however, and a probable depiction on the rounded top of the stone remain speculative.

A current development is the display of hieroglyphic and Demotic signs in the Unicode standard – e.g. on websites and in documents. Since this process is not finished yet, we abstained from using them to display the text and implemented a representation in a transliteration (“Umschrift“) in 'our' letters with special characters.



03

Part 3: The Rosetta Stone in 3D



3D model of the Rosetta Stone, by The British Museum, from SketchFab

The British Museum, 3D model, 196 BCE, Rosetta

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3D model of the Rosetta Stone, by The British Museum, from SketchFab
3D model of the Rosetta Stone, by The British Museum, from SketchFab3D
3D model of the Rosetta Stone by the British Museum

3D model of the Rosetta Stone

The British Museum has created a 3D model which you can see on the left. The image has been compiled by photographs taken while the glass showcase was closed. A click on the details of this model leads you to further information and the raw data. For an in-depth study of the inscriptions, the resolution of this model is not high enough.





Scan in London - view of the Rosetta Stone

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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The showcase was opened for the scan.
London Scan4.jpg
New scans at the British Museum in 2018: for the scan, we were allowed to open the showcase


Scan in London - Profs. Bozia + Barmpoutis

Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Leipzig University, photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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Examining the photographs
Scan in London - Eleni Bozia + Angelos Barmpoutis von der Uni Florida bauen die Kameras auf, Foto F. Naether.JPG
examining the photographs


Scan in London - Icelight

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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Illumination of the inscriptions from four different sides
London Scan.jpg
The inscriptions are illuminated from four different directions and then photographed (Angelos Barmpoutis, Eleni Bozia)


Scan in London - Teams Leipzig + London

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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The Team with colleagues from the British Museum
London Scan2.jpg
The team with the colleagues from the British Museum


Scan in London - view of the Egyptian Galleries

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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The Team with the colleagues from the British Museum
London Scan3.jpg
The team with the colleagues from the British Museum


Scan in London - the Digital Rosetta Stone team in front of the showcase

Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Leipzig University, photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, London

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Calibrating the camera
Scan in London - Prüfen der Lichtverhältnisse im British Museum für die Aufnahmen, Foto F. Naether.JPG
Adjusting the camera


Scan in London - group lecture at the Institute of Classics, University of London

Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Leipzig University, photo: Gianluca Cumani, photo, 2018, London

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Our talk at the University of London featured a report on the scan of the Rosetta Stone, which happened the day before (there is a link to the video of the talk at the end of this digital exhibition).
Scan in London - Präsentation der ersten Ergebnisse einen Tag später an der Universität London - im Bild Angelos Barmpoutis und Monica Berti, live in YouTube, Foto F. Naether.JPG
Report one day later about the scan and other topics in a public lecture at the University of London (you can find the link to the video at the end)


SFM 5

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, photo, 2018, London/Leipzig/University of Florida

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Images of the Rosetta Stone in different modes
SFM1.jpg
This image gallery shows several individual shots, some of which have been combined with other photographs to produce the 3D images.


SFM 2

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, photo, 2018, London/Leipzig/University of Florida

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Images of the Rosetta Stone in different modes
SFM2.jpg
The light shines from different directions.


SFM 4

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, photo, 2018, London/Leipzig/University of Florida

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Images of the Rosetta Stone in different modes
SFM4.jpg
Especially the top left corner of the stone is problematic …


SFM 5

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, photo, 2018, London/Leipzig/University of Florida

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Images of the Rosetta Stone in different modes
SFM5.jpg
… because the material there is much lighter than the rest of the stone, due to cleaning measures.


SFM

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, photo, 2018, London/Leipzig/University of Florida

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Pictures of the Rosetta Stone in different modes
SFM6.jpg
Therefore, it lacks contrast between the inscription and the background: on this part, the recognition of the text is the hardest.


ROI photo

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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The new 3D images are more helpful to decipher the inscriptions than plain photographs.


ROI Depth Map

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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The depth map


ROI 3D lighting

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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ROI_3d_lighting.jpg
With indication of the direction of the lighting


ROI 3D

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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ROI_3d.jpg
3D image


ROI 3D Depth Map

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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ROI_3d_depthmap.jpg
Another 3D image


Crowds in front of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2017, British Museum, London

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Franziska Naether

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Franziska Naether

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Kurzbeschreibung
Crowds in front of the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum
Rosetta Stone BM Foto von Franziska 2017 (1).jpg

Video of the Scan

Here you can watch a short video of scanning of the Rosetta Stone.

The scan was executed in the morning before visitors could have access. Here you can see what happens when the British Museum opens its gates and the guests enter the building.

production by risolviamo, Turin





Depth Map Rosetta Stone - clean

Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Leipzig University, University of Florida, 3D-model, 2018-2021, Leipzig

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Depth Map of the Rosetta Stone

Depth Map

The depth map (or depiction of the relief, the depths – without graphical noise on the surface) is an image of the Rosetta Stone with currently the highest resolution. By this, researchers of Egyptology and Classics can view the inscriptions in great detail.

The file was created by Angelos Barmpoutis in June 2018 by combining eight photographs with the help of a special algorithm. The light came from four different directions. The resolution is 81,41 µm, which corresponds to 312 DPI.

A high quality version of the depth map can be downloaded here (60 MB). A smaller version for smartphones and tablets is shown later on.



New 3D Scan of the Rosetta Stone

Priests, Ptolemaios V, Rosetta, Egypt, The British Museum, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Stela, Decree, 3D Modell in 2D (image file), 196 BCE, Rosetta / Rashid, Egypt

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Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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British Museum, Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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Kurzbeschreibung
new scan of the Digital Rosetta Stone Project (shape-from-shading)

The Rosetta Stone in 3D

New 3D image of the Rosetta Stone, created by combining four photographs, in medium quality.



Before/after image of the Rosetta Stone, shape from shading technique

Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Universität Leipzig, Universität Florida, photo, 2018, Leipzig

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Kurzbeschreibung
Before/after image of the Rosetta Stone (left side: raw photograph; right side: combined image after applying the shape from shading technique)
Naether, The Digital Rosetta Stone Project - vorher+nachher.jpg
Comparison of a plain photograph and the combined image

Before-After-Pictures

To the left, you can see a normal photograph with light coming from one direction. To the right, you can see a combination of four photographs with light coming from four directions – and therefore, with four different illuminations and shadows. The method called ”shape from shading“ is very helpful for surfaces with reliefs not cut too deep in stone. The Rosetta Stone is an example for this: its inscriptions are only a few millimeters deep.

With these images, more models can be created such as the depth map. On the website of Monica Berti you can easily switch between the high-quality photograph and the depth map by using your computer‘s mouse or touch pad: Just slide the line in the middle of the display to the left or the right.





Rosetta Stone App QR code

Design: Angelos Barmpoutis, 2020, University of Florida

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University of Florida

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Kurzbeschreibung
App to display the Depth Map of the Rosetta Stone with linkage through a QR code
Rosetta App QR.JPG

The Stone as a Smartphone App

You can easily view, turn, and zoom in the depth map of the Rosetta Stone on your smartphone or tablet. Have a look at the screenshot at the end of this exhibition.



04

Part 4: The Rosetta Stone and Learning Languages in the 21st Century



DFHG Logo

Monica Berti, digital graphic, Leipzig

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Digital Humanities Universität Leipzig

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Kurzbeschreibung
Logo of the project DFHG (DIGITAL FRAGMENTA HISTORICORUM GRAECORUM), designed by Monica Berti
DFHG Project Logo.jpg
Logo of the DFHG project

The Digital Rosetta Stone Project

While working for the project "Digital Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum" (DFHG), Monica Berti digitized the Greek version of the Rosetta Stone. She was interested in assembling the two Egyptian versions of the decree as well. This is how the collaboration with Franziska Naether started, and after a successful application for funding, Miriam Amin and Josephine Hensel joined the team. The new images of the Rosetta Stone were created in cooperation with the British Museum (especially with Ilona Regulski) as well as with Eleni Bozia and Angelos Barmpoutis from the University of Florida. The aim was to set up a new digital edition with the determination of the grammar and the comparison of the three versions side by side. For this, digital tools have been used, evaluated and refined.




Alignment Screenshot

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Miriam Amin, Screenshot of a digital representation on a website, 2018, Leipzig

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https://rosetta-stone.dh.uni-leipzig.de/rs/the-digital-rosetta-stone/visual-alignment/

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Kurzbeschreibung
Screenshot of the visualization of the alignment
Rosetta Fig. 4.png

What is Alignment?

When word by word, expression by expression, or line by line of two languages are put next to each other for comparisons, this is called alignment. Many people learn languages by memorizing vocabulary or formulations of a known and an unknown language in books, slip boxes or apps. The technical possibilities of alignment facilitate the usage and show the words and expressions in context of the whole sentence.

For the Rosetta Stone, it was possible to display three languages – Middle Egyptian, Demotic, and Ancient Greek. The Egyptian languages are presented in their scientific transliteration, all together with an English and a German translation.

You can access the Alignment here or by clicking on a passage on the 3D image.





Screenshot of the visualization

Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Miriam Amin, Screenshot of a digital presentation on a website, 2018, Leipzig

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Digital Rosetta Stone Project

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Leipzig University, Digital Rosetta Stone Project/ Miriam Amin

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Kurzbeschreibung
Screenshot of the digital visualization of the alignments
Rosetta Fig. 5.jpg

Visualization of the three Versions

If you hover with your computer‘s mouse (or your finger on a smartphone or tablet) over the 3D image of the Rosetta Stone, certain passages will be highlighted in blue. To make this happen, something operates in the background of the website. For this reason, the image of the stone was separated in three zones. Those are activated by coordinates – like with a map. The picture displays how this is hierarchically structured in the HTML version of the website.

You can try this on your own by clicking on this link!





Treebanking Screenshot

Digital Rosetta Stone Project, Leipzig University, Guiseppe Celano, Screenshot, 2015, Leipzig

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Kurzbeschreibung
Screenshot from the application "Arethusa" for treebanking. Extract from the Ancient Greek version of the Rosetta Stone.
Screenshot Treebanking Arethusa.jpg

What is Treebanking?

Treebanking – never heard before? No worries! This has to do with grammar and sentence structures – and how this could be displayed in a graphical way in order to improve the understanding of texts. The idea behind this is that a sentence could look like a tree – with branches and twigs as main and subordinate clauses of all kinds.

The Rosetta Stone comprises of large trees – generally, a sentence of the Greek version has 52 words! This is because of the standard formulae in such decrees: many small subordinate clauses (twigs) relate to each other. Digital treebanking serves to encourage the learner: if he or she fully understands the grammar and morphology of a sentence and determines every word correctly, a tree will be displayed on the screen.

For treebanking, we are using a software called “Arethusa“. The Greek version (and later the Demotic one) could be explored here in detail – and especially zoomed in to word-level.





Lettre à M. Dacier, table from the appendix

Jean-François Champollion; Wikimedia Commons: Andrew Dalby, Text, Book with tables in the appendix, 1822, Paris

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Paris, publishing house Firmin Didot Père et Fils

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Kurzbeschreibung
Jean-Francois Champollion, Lettre à M. Dacier, table from the appendix
Lettre à M. Davier, Champollion_table.jpg

One text, three Versions?

Scholars of ancient linguistics have assumed for a long time that the Rosetta Stone bears not “only“ one text in three translations: every version has its individual peculiarities. The first version was presumably in Ancient Greek. Not every word, every term could be expressed exactly in Egyptian. Vocabulary and grammatical constructions differ within the three versions. Sometimes, there are periphrases, sometimes additions, but also omissions – and even contradicting passages. Might there be errors in some paragraphs? Further studies will show this.

This is how Champollion started: The picture shows table 4 from his over 50-pages-long letter to Professor Bon-Joseph Dacier, the secretary of the French Academy of Letters and Fine Arts. We can see the Greek letters with their Demotic and Hieroglyphic counterparts next to each other (full text: "Lettre à M. Dacier relative à l'alphabet des hiéroglyphes phonétiques", full text available here).





Ugarit logo

Tariq Youssef, digital graphic, 2017, Leipzig

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Leipzig University

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Leipzig University, designed by Tariq Youssef

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Kurzbeschreibung
Logo of the Ugarit iAligners
Logo Ugarit.png

Research and Teaching

Methods such as Alignment, Treebanking and their visualization help us learn languages. Many apps – and maybe you have used one of them – are based on such technologies. Software such as “Ugarit“ enable us to link the languages of the world with each other. By this, modern technology optimizes the understanding and learning processes in the 21st century. What we developed in the “Digital Rosetta Stone Project“ together with students and implemented in classes, can of course be achieved with any other languages. You can try it out here!



05

Close



The team of the Digital Rosetta Stone Project

photo: Franziska Naether, photo, 2018, Leipzig

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Leipzig University

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Leipzig University, photo: Franziska Naether

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Kurzbeschreibung
The team of the Digital Rosetta Stone Project
Digital Rosetta Stone - Team, Foto Uni Leipzig.JPG
The team of the “Digital Rosetta Stone Project“ (from left to right: Monica Berti, Franziska Naether, Josephine Hensel, Miriam Amin)

The Rosetta Stone continues to fascinate people – as a symbol of languages and understanding, even in an ancient culture. Competences in intercultural communication belong to the challenges of humanity.

It was the digitization of ancient languages and scholarship in general which re-introduced the Rosetta Stone to our attention – a monument intertwined with the birth of the academic discipline of Egyptology. There is still a lot of potential in deciphering and interpreting ancient sources, especially in dealing with the Demotic language and script. Current and future scholars have a couple of tough nuts to crack! Furthermore, the Rosetta Stone is part of discourses about ancient and modern discussions on handling artifacts in the 21st century. It remains exciting!





Pansee Atta, “I am not asking for the moon” – The Rosetta Stone, 2018

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UNPACKING THE LIVING ROOM

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Pansee Atta/ UNPACKING THE LIVING ROOM

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Kurzbeschreibung
Pansee Atta, “I am not asking for the moon” – The Rosetta Stone, 2018 (GIF animation), from the gallery "Unpacking the Living Room", Halifax
The-Rosetta-Stone.gif
Pansee Atta, “I am not asking for the moon” – The Rosetta Stone, 2018 (GIF, displayed here with the artist‘s permission)


Video "The Rosetta Stone" by Ed Squair (2015)

Ed Squair

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Vimeo

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Vimeo

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Kurzbeschreibung
This special episode of "it's a small world: the animated series" was created to be branded content specifically to promote sponsor Rosetta Stone's new language learning software for children. Rather than an overt commercial message, the software is only briefly mentioned, in appropriate context, while telling the story of the real Rosetta Stone and implicitly why it's the name of the well-known language software company. "Flashback" scenes were done in the style of Disney's 50's television animation, to provide visual diversity as well as an extra "Easter Egg" for die-hard Disney fans. [description provided in Vimeo]
Video: "The Rosetta Stone" by Ed Squair (English, for kids, 2015)


Rosetta tablet comic

Comic, 20.02.2013

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Devin Boscole

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Devin Boscole

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Kurzbeschreibung
Comic by Devin Boscole (2013)
Rosetta Tablet.jpg
Comic by Devin Boscole (2013)

More than 200 years of tablets?

A very bulky tablet …





Logo of the Digital Rosetta Stone Project

Miriam Amin, digital graphic, 2017, Leipzig

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Leipzig University

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Leipzig University, designed by Miriam Amin

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Kurzbeschreibung
Logo of the Digital Rosetta Stone Project
Logo DRS.png

More information (online)

If you want to know more, check out the following videos (all in English):






Eine virtuelle Ausstellung von

Created by Franziska Naether (SAW Leipzig, KompetenzwerkD) in order to test digital exhibitions with DDBstudio

Team

Digital Rosetta Stone Project:

Miriam Amin M.Sc., Prof. Dr. Angelos Barmpoutis, Dr. Monica Berti, Prof. Dr. Dr. Eleni Bozia, Josephine Hensel M.A., Dr. Franziska Naether

Website: https://rosetta-stone.dh.uni-leipzig.de

Erstellt mit :
DDB Studio
Ein Service von:
DDB Studio

Diese Ausstellung wurde am 05.03.2021 veröffentlicht.



Impressum

Die virtuelle Ausstellung All Good Things come in Threes wird veröffentlicht von:

KompetenzwerkD - Sächsisches Forschungszentrum und Kompetenznetzwerk für Digitale Geisteswissenschaften und Kulturelles Erbe

Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig


Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 1
D-04107 Leipzig


gesetzlich vertreten durch

the president Prof. Dr. Hans Wiesmeth

Telefon:

+49 341 697642-13


Fax:

+49 341 697642-44


E-Mail:  

sekretariat@saw-leipzig.de

Inhaltlich verantwortlich:

Agnes Silberhorn, head of the press and outreach department

Kurator*innen:

Dr. Franziska Naether

 

DDBstudio wird angeboten von:  
Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, gesetzlich vertreten durch ihren Präsidenten,
handelnd für das durch Verwaltungs- und Finanzabkommen zwischen Bund und Ländern errichtete Kompetenznetzwerk

Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
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Inhaltlich verantwortlich: 
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komissarische Leiterin der Geschäftsstelle
Finanzen, Recht, Kommunikation, Marketing
Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
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Konzeption:
Nicole Lücking, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
Stephan Bartholmei, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
Dr. Michael Müller, Culture to Go GbR

Design: 
Andrea Mikuljan, FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

Technische Umsetzung:
Culture to Go GbR mit Grandgeorg Websolutions

Hosting und Betrieb:  
FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

Rechtliche Hinweise:
Die Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek übernimmt keine Verantwortung für die Inhalte von virtuellen Ausstellungen Dritter, die über dieses Internetangebot erreicht werden können. Die Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek distanziert sich ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten virtueller Ausstellungen, die möglicherweise straf- oder haftungsrechtlich relevant sind oder gegen die guten Sitten verstoßen. 



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