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In 1822, Jean-François Champollion found an essential clue from the newly discovered cartouche (oval rings enclosing certain groups of hieroglyphs, generally names and titles) containing the name of Cleopatra. The alphabet was now mostly correct and allowed him to translate the names of dozens of rulers.
When Tutankhamun's cartouche was discovered in 1922 and deciphered, it turned out that the "chick" pictogram was phonetic for the vowel 'u', the 'shepherd's crook' was a symbol meaning 'ruler. This was the turn of uncovering the secrets of a great civilisation.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE
Greek and Roman authors thought that hieroglyphs were symbols of ancient Egyptian wisdom. They dismissed any phonetic component in the hieroglyphs.
Ancient Egypt has exerted power of influence on the world of learning for over two millennia.
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