The Rosetta Stone: Background information when reading The Riddle of the Labyrinth

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The Riddle of the Labyrinth

The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code

By Margalit Fox

The Riddle of the Labyrinth
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  • Hardcover: May 2013,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2014,
    400 pages.

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Rosetta Stone

In The Riddle of the Labyrinth, Margalit Fox describes the challenge of decoding Linear B: "An unknown script used to write an unknown language is a locked-room mystery: Somehow, the decipherer must finesse his way into a tightly closed system that offers few external clues. If he is very lucky, he will have the help of a bilingual inscription like the Rosetta Stone, which furnished the key to deciphering the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt. Without such an inscription, his task is all but impossible."

Rosetta StoneIn 1799, in the small village of el-Rashid in the Egyptian delta, soldiers from Napoleon's army discovered the tablet. Because the French troops referred to el-Rashid as Rosetta, the stone came to be known as the Rosetta Stone. After Napoleon was defeated, the stone became the property of the British and has been at the British museum since 1802, except for brief times in storage to protect it from wartime bombing and one month in 1972 when it was lent to the Louvre.

The stone became ...

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