On July 19, 1799, the Rosetta Stone was “rediscovered” in Egypt. Though the path it traveled over the centuries is uncertain, this ancient stone was eventually used as construction material in the building of Fort Julien, in Rashid (Rosetta), Egypt, used by the French during the Napoleonic Expeditions. This is where the stone was rediscovered by a French Soldier and ultra-amature archeologist, Pierre Francois-Bouchard. The stone as we know it today carries the same script repeated in three sections, in three languages: ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and ancient Greek. By using the translations of the ancient Greek and Demotic text, scholars were able to translate the previously misunderstood Egyptian hieroglyphs, offering a new understanding of this ancient language and culture.
Here’s what you don’t know….
The Rosetta Stone we know today, stands a little over three feet tall. When the stone was originally found in 1799, it stood at 5’8” and contained another section of text above the hieroglyphs, as well as some illustrations and a pretty jazzy title at the top. The stone’s original height stood two inches taller than the expedition leader, Napoleon “Dynamite” Bonaparte. Normally this would not have been a problem, but some insensitive French soldiers, drunk on wine and what they described as a “Rediscoverer’s High”, placed the stone next to Bonaparte’s tent door with a sign at the top reading, “You must be at least this tall to conquer Egypt.” In a fit of understandable rage, Napoleon had the stone broken in two and the soldiers mummified.
The fourth section that was broke from the Rosetta stone contained a previously unknown language and fell into the possession of a Spanish stablehand named Pablo who worked on Fort Julien. It was then smuggled back to Europe. While the Rosetta Stone eventually fell into the hands of the British and now resides in a British museum, the Pablo Stone bounced around Europe for another 185 years. Finally, after being won in a high stakes poker game by a newly millionaired Bill Gates, it ended up in Seattle, Washington.
Gates became increasingly fascinated with the Pablo Stone and it wasn’t long before he was able to decipher the unknown text. Though the rest of the Rosetta Stone contains a bunch of boring dribble about a decree of a new king, the Pablo Stone, when read backwards, opened a portal to another world (presumably the same world that the aliens who built the pyramids came from). Anyway, long story short, Gates opened the portal during what was supposed be a friendly golf game between rival billionaires in 2005, and cast the real Steve Jobs inside. He then shut the portal and smashed the Pablo Stone for good.
What you don’t know about what you don’t know…..
The inscriptions on the Pablo Stone became the basis for Bill Gates’ ludicrously useless “Wing Dings” font on Microsoft Word.