In Ñspel: The Guardian view on the Rosetta Stone: a monument to code-breaking

The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. Photograph: Amir Makar/AFP/Getty Images
Ɖ R’zeta Ston in ɖ Britiś Ḿziym. Foṭgraf: Amir Makar/AFP/Geti Iṃjz

Ɖ Gardịn vy on ɖ R’zeta Ston: a mońmnt t codbrecñ

(Transcription of an editorial published in the Guardian on 30 September 2022)

F it wr’nt fr hymaṇti’z paśn fr criptogṛfi, wn v ɖ wrld’z most feṃs arṭfacts wd jst b a brocn slab v ston

Frîde 30 Sptmbr 2022

Ɖs wīc’s 200ʈ aṇvrsri v ɖ dīcodñ v ɖ R’zeta Ston z jeṇretñ a rer levl v petriotic xîtmnt. A seḷbreśn z undr we in Ījipt, ẃć hz bn ptiśnñ fr ɖ rtrn v ɖ ston. A sumr v luv fr its dcodr, Jean-François Champollion, culṃnets in Frans ɖs wīc wɖ ɖ oṗnñ v an xbiśn at ɖ Louvre’z saṭlît ḿziym in Lens. Mnẃl, ɖ Britiś Ḿziym – ẃr it hz lein in stet sins docñ on Britiś śorz – z girñ p fr its ǒn blocbustr xbiśn.

Yt ɖ arîvl v ɖ “vri krịs ston” in ɖ YC in 1802 woṛntd onli ɖ brīfist v mnśnz in ɖ Lundn pres, ẃć rportd ɖt it wz amñ a śiplod v Ijipśn antiqtiz c’lectd bî ɖ Frenć armi ɖt hd bcm “ɖ proṗti v ɖ concrrz”. Ɖz wr spôlz v a wor, nt agnst ɖ Ijipśnz bt agnst Npolionic forsz, sînd ovr undr ɖ Trīti v Aḷxandria.

Ɖ ston hd bn dscuvrd nir ɖ tǎn v R’zeta, nǎ Raśīd, in ɖ Nîl dlta jst ʈri yirz rlịr. V ɖ ʈri scripts wɖ ẃć it wz inscrîbd – Grīc, Coptic n hîṛglific – onli Grīc wz comprihnsbl; it wd tec anɖr tū decedz fr Champollion t hv ɖ yrīca momnt ɖt wd nt onli mc ɖ ston intu wn v ɖ wrld’z most feṃs arṭfacts, bt wd ad a ny deḟniśn t ɖ Ñgliś-lanḡj dix́nri. R’zeta Ston: brecʈru or dscuṿri ɖt pṛvîdz crūśl nolij fr ɖ solvñ v puzlz or probḷmz.

In its meṭforicl sns, ɖ ston bcem a cōlñcard fr ɖ sayns v codbrecñ: n it z in ɖs, rɖr ɖn eni qoḷti intrinzic t ɖ objict itslf, ɖt its majic lîz. Champollion’z dīcodñ v a riyli rɖr dul dcri bî a caunsl v prīsts, afrmñ ɖ royl cult v ɖ 13-yir-old Toḷmi V, pṛvîdd a ci t ɖ puzl v hîṛglifics, n ɖr-bî opnd ǎt a hol ny vista in ɖ studi v enćnt Ijipśn culćr.

Hvr, sạntific brecʈrūz r hardli evr ɖ rzult v a sngl momnt v insṗreśn, n Champollion’z wz no xpśn. Sevṛl hieroglyphic caṛctrz hd bn îdnṭfaid bî Aṛb scolrz az far bac az ɖ 10ʈ snć̣ri. Mnẃl, Toṃs Yuñ, a doctr n fizsist feṃsli dscrîbd az “ɖ last man hu ń evrʈñ”, wrct ǎt ɖt sǎnd pleid a rǒl (alñsd picṭgramz n idiogramz), wɖ a siriz v hîṛglifs sǎndñ ǎt ɖ nem Toḷmi. Ɖo Yuñ’z fîndñz dd’nt g eni frɖr, h publiśt ɖm in ɖ Insîcḷpīdia Britanica in 1819, so ɖe wd hv féd intu ɖ Frenć scolr’z ʈncñ.

Ʈru LGBTQ+ turz, ẃć r śortli t rīc̣mns, ɖ Britiś Ḿziym olso rīsntli bgan t onr anɖr cntribytr t ɖ ston’z hisṭri: Wiłm Jon Báncs, a wlʈi ge Ījiptoḷjist hu instōld an oḅlisc on hiz Dorsit istet n wz rli t sjst ɖt ɖ ʈri txts on ɖ R’zeta Ston mt ol se ɖ sem ʈñ.

Ɖ aṇvrsri śd nt jst b sìn az ɖ stori v wn briłnt codbrecr n a brocn slab v granodayrît, bt az a ćans t seḷbret ɖ c’labṛtiv jīńs v criptogṛfi itslf acrs continnts n snć̣riz.

Instroduction to Ñspel

01/10/2022

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