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    The Keys of Egypt: The Race to Read the Hieroglyphs (Paperback) By (author) Lesley Adkins, By (author) Roy Adkins

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    DescriptionA vivid and superbly written account of the unravelling of one of the great intellectual puzzles, set against the backdop of Europe in the Napoleonic era. When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, his troops were astonished to discover ancient temples, tombs and statues, all covered with hieroglyphs - the last remnants of an unreadable script and a language lost in time. On their return Egyptomania spread rapidly and the quest to decipher hieroglyphs began in earnest. Jean-Francois Champollion was obsessed with ancient languages from a very young age, and once he heard of the unreadable ancient Egyptian text he had found the challenge to which he would dedicate his life: the decipherment of hieroglyphs. Despite poverty he made gradual progress, although he had to fight against jealous enemies, both professional and political, every step of the way - a dangerous task when in post-Revolutionary France a slip of the tongue could mean ruin, exile or even death. Failure threatened, as he was only one of many attempting to read the hieroglyphs, and his main rival, the English Thomas Young, claimed that decipherment was imminent, but Champollion refused to be distracted and finally, in 1822, he made the decisive breakthrough: he was the first person able to read the ancient Egyptian language in well over a thousand years.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Keys of Egypt

    Title
    The Keys of Egypt
    Subtitle
    The Race to Read the Hieroglyphs
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Lesley Adkins, By (author) Roy Adkins
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 352
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 197 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 265 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780006531456
    ISBN 10: 0006531458
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: LAN
    BIC subject category V2: BGH
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.2
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAE
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA, HBJH
    DC21: 932
    BIC subject category V2: CFL
    LC subject heading: ,
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15700
    BISAC V2.8: HIS001000
    BIC subject category V2: CFP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002030, LAN001000, BIO006000, LAN023000
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDAE
    Thema V1.0: DNBH, CFP, NHC, NHHA, CFL
    Illustrations note
    16 b/w plates (16pp)
    Publisher
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
    Publication date
    03 September 2001
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Husband-and-wife Lesley and Roy Adkins are both archaeologists and Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London. They have written many books on archaeological subjects and have just completed The Little Book of Egyptian Hieroglyphs. They also run a colour picture library specialising in archaeology and history. Lesley and Roy recently moved to Devon, where they are embarking on the restoration of an extensive garden.
    Review quote
    'A fascinating and elegantly written biography of Champollion, doing justice to one of the great stories of academic heroism.' Simon Singh, Sunday Telegraph 'A fascinating account of the race to unlock the cryptic language of the pharaohs' Giles Milton, Daily Mail