Ancient Egyptian stela with text in Greek, heiroglyphs and demotic. The Rosetta Stone is one of the British Museum’s best known objects and a valuable key to the decipherment of hieroglyphs. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum tells the story of the Egypt of Ptolemy V. He also looks at the Greek kings who ruled in Alexandria and the struggle between the British and the French over the Middle East and their squabble over the stone. Historian Dorothy Thompson and the writer Ahdaf Soueif help untangle the tale.
Tagged with “egypt” (3)
An ancient Egyptian papyrus from around 1550 BC, used to train scribes. It contains 84 different calculations to help with various aspects of Egyptian life, from pyramid building to working out how much grain it takes to fatten a goose. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, looks at man’s early experiments with numbers and discovers how the Egyptians’ understanding of mathematics enabled them to build a state machine, which could manage food supplies and even compute the flood levels of the Nile.
This ornate Egyptian coffin holds secrets to the understanding of their priests’ religion, Egyptian society and its connections to the rest of the world. At the age of eight, Neil MacGregor visited the British Museum for the first time and came face to face with this object and it has fascinated and intrigued him ever since.