Hieroglyphs exhibition at the British Museum

Billed as unlocking ancient Egypt, this exhibition explains the painstaking detective work of French and British academics during the combative early nineteenth century. It’s a fascinating study of how the hieroglyphic code was cracked by hard work, perseverance and cooperation.

It’s astonishing to think that an entire language disappeared, after foreign imperial powers stamped their authority on a civilisation that was preeminent for more than 3000 years – and thousands of years before that as non-unified kingdoms. From AD 356, temples were ordered closed and hieroglyphs were replaced by the Greek and then Arabic languages – to only gradually be deciphered from 1822.

The exhibition runs until 19 February 2023.

Plaster relief from Karnak Temple
The Rosetta Stone – it’s decree, written in hieroglyphs, Demotic (everyday) Egyptian and Ancient Greek provided the key to deciphering the hieroglyphs.
A 180 degree video of the River Nile provides a stunning backdrop for the exhibits.
The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus – a set of 88 mathematical problems posed in 1550 BC.

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