Many factors contributed to the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone, which was discovered in 1799 and finally “cracked” over 20 years later. But as Andrew Robinson establishes in “Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean–François Champollion,” the efforts of Champollion were paramount in solving one of history’s greatest puzzles.
Champollion, considered the father of Egyptology, is rightfully revered in his native France and certainly deserving of more recognition on this side of the Atlantic. “Cracking the Egyptian Code” serves as an excellent introduction into Champollion’s life and also as an in-depth recounting of his efforts in deciphering the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone.
I read a different book on this a number of years ago and was surprised how complicated the actual story really was. My biggest take-away was the role that Champollion’s knowledge of Coptic assisted in the decipherment. Definitely worth reading an extended treatise on it, IMO.