[an error occurred while processing this directive] Jean-Francois Champollion [an error occurred while processing this directive]
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  • Jean-Francois Champollion

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    Photo of Jean-Francois Champollion Jean-Francois Champollion acknowledged as the father of modern Egyptology, was the first to completely solve the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphics by deciphering the Rosetta Stone, his discovery is seen as the birth of modern Egyptology Champollion was enabled by his talent for persistent observation, enthusiasm, and desire for clarity to solve the mystery of the hieroglyphs.

    By 1822 he had deciphered the entire system of hieroglyphs from the Rosetta Stone.

    Champollion met with Napoleon Bonaparte on several occasions (after he had written his satires, which were unknown by the emperor), impressing the emperor with his ideas and knowledge of Egypt. Nothing came of the plans they discussed, as this was just before Bonaparte's defeat at Waterloo. Nevertheless, there were many advances Champollion made for Egyptology with the help of Charles 10. Among them he was able to confirm that the Denderah Temple was the work of Egyptian monarchs from different epochs; and in Turin, Italy, he found the long-lost papyrus - The Chapters of Coming forward By Day, which is now more popularly called The Egyptian Book of the Dead. After his successful tour of museums in Turin, Rome, and Naples, he was made Keeper of the Egyptian Collections of the Louvre in 1826 by Charles 10.

    In 1828, he began a year-long trip to Egypt with one of his students, Ippolito Rossellini. They explored and made a systematic survey of the history, geography and monuments of Egypt and Nubia,
    The notes and engravings left behind are regarded as some of the best ever done, and preserved important information that otherwise would have been lost.

    The last year of his life 1832 saw some recognition of his work that resulted in promotions for him in the scholastic establishment. He was elected a member of the Academy of Inscriptions, and a special position was created for him, the Chair of Egyptian Antiquities by the College de France.

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