The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.
The stone was carved during the Hellenistic period and is believed to have originally been displayed within a temple, possibly at nearby Sais. It was probably moved in late antiquity or during the Mamluk period, and was eventually used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile Delta. It was discovered there in July 1799 by French officer Pierre-François Bouchard during the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt. It was the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text recovered in modern times, and it aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher this previously untranslated hieroglyphic script. Lithographic copies and plaster casts soon began circulating among European museums and scholars. When the British defeated the French they took the stone to London under the Capitulation of Alexandria in 1801. Since 1802, it has been on public display at the British Museum almost continuously and is its most visited object. (Full article...)
Tutankhamun took the throne at eight or nine years of age under the unprecedented viziership of his eventual successor, Ay, to whom he may have been related. He married his paternal half-sister Ankhesenamun. During their marriage they lost two daughters, one at 5–6 months of pregnancy and the other shortly after birth at full-term. His names—Tutankhaten and Tutankhamun—are thought to mean "Living image of Aten" and "Living image of Amun", with Aten replaced by Amun after Akhenaten's death. A small number of Egyptologists, including Battiscombe Gunn, believe the translation may be incorrect and closer to "The-life-of-Aten-is-pleasing" or, as Professor Gerhard Fecht believes, reads as "One-perfect-of-life-is-Aten". (Full article...)
Image 5Naqada figure of a woman interpreted to represent the goddess Bat with her inward curving horns, c. 3500–3400 B.C.E. terracotta, painted, 11+1⁄2 in × 5+1⁄2 in × 2+1⁄4 in (29.2 cm × 14.0 cm × 5.7 cm), Brooklyn Museum (from Prehistoric Egypt)
Image 10Possible prisoners and wounded men of the Buto-Maadi culture devoured by animals, while one is led by a man in long dress, probably an Egyptian official (fragment, top right corner). Battlefield Palette. (from Prehistoric Egypt)