NOVA Online: Pyramids—The Inside Story (see bottom of page for navigation)
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So what do those hieroglyphs say? Well, the pictures mean: "congratulations code breaker"

If you didn't guess that answer, then you're probably not alone. If you could see other people's guesses, you would probably find that everyone had a different idea about what those pictures meant.

That's the same problem researchers had when they first found the hieroglyphs. No one could agree on what each picture meant. But then someone unearthed a stone tablet (known as the Rosetta stone) which contained the same passage in three different languages—hieroglyphic, demotic Egyptian, and Greek. In 1799, a Frenchman named Jean Francois Champollion, who knew Greek, was able to match the Greek translation to the other two languages, and thus crack the code.


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