Two hundred years ago this month, the French philologist Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832) announced to the world that he had finally cracked the code of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
On the morning of September 14th, Champollion had his 'Eureka' moment when he was able to decipher the name of the Pharaoh Ramesses II (r. 1279-1213 BCE). We can see the pharaoh's name on the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo; it is enclosed in a cartouche.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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