CHAMPOLLION, JEAN FRANÇOIS (1790-1832), French Egyptologist and student of Oriental languages, including Coptic. He was educated in Grenoble. In 1806 he gave a paper at the Académie de Grenoble in which he maintained that Coptic was the ancient language of Egypt. Ten years later he published a book entitled L'Egypte sous les Pharaons, a description of Egypt drawn from classical and Coptic sources. His main achievement was the decipherment of hieroglyphs through the Rosetta Stone (now in the British Museum), a revolutionary discovery that inaugurated the science of Egyptology. He was appointed curator of the Egyptian Collection at the Louvre Museum in 1824.
AZIZ S. ATIYA
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