The Rosetta Stone is one of the best known textual artifacts from ancient Egypt and has been the object of a great number of studies and much research in the scholarly world of this field. It has its name because the location where it was excavated, that is Rosetta, i.e. El-Rashid in Arabic. In 1802 the Rosetta Stone was moved to England where it still is today and is one of the best-known exhibits at the British Museum in London.
The importance of the Rosetta Stone and the interest it has aroused in the scientific and scholarly world are based on the fact that special decree had been inscribed on it, which, according to contemporary scholarship, was issued by the priests in order to glorify the pharaoh Ptolemy V Epiphany Eucharist one year after his coronation, according to the present-day calendar on 27th March 196 B.C. The special interest arises because this decree was written in three different scripts: in hieroglyphs, in so called demotic script and in the uncial alphabet. On the basis of the text written in the uncial alphabet, in 1822 the well-known French scientist Champollion deciphered the hieroglyphic script using the ancient Egyptian language for wiring for sound, , , .
According to the perceptions of contemporary science , , , as well as the text being written in three scripts, two languages had been used: ancient Egyptian, in the text written with hieroglyphs and in the demotic script, and ancient Greek in the text written in uncial alphabet. The thesis that three scripts and three languages are used on the Rosetta Stone was widely accepted until the beginning of the 20th century, . Due to the difficulties in determining and deciphering the third language, which was used to write the middle text of the stone, in the first decade of the 20th century the thesis that three scripts and two languages were used on the stone began to predominate, . Consequently, current scholarship supports the theory that two scripts: the hieroglyphic and the demotic, were used to inscribe the decree on the Rosetta Stone in ancient Egyptian language , , .
A basic assumption of our research is that in writing the text on the Rosetta Stone three scripts were used, but in three different languages: ancient Egyptian, written with hieroglyphic script, ancient Macedonian, written with demotic script, and ancient Greek written with uncial alphabet. This assumption is based on the fact that the rulers of Egypt in those times were the Ptolemaic dynasty, descend from Ptolemy Soter, general of Alexander the Great, i.e. they were ancient Macedonians. According to the perceptions of a part of contemporary scholarship, , the ancient Macedonians used to speak in a language different from the ancient Greek, and it is more than obvious that they had to know how to read and write into their own language. Our assumption is that their script was the script used in the middle text of the Rosetta Stone, which is known today in the scholarly circles under the term of the demotic script. This assumption becomes more logical if the demotic script is taken into consideration in its universal use on the part of the literate people of those times, i.e. it was being used in Persia and Egypt for writing state documents, documents for legal and property issues, scientific texts, poetry and prose .
The appearance of the middle text of the Rosetta Stone is shown of Figure 1.
Figure 1 - The appearance of the middle text of the Rosetta Stone
The demotic script has been in the past and is still today a subject of intensive research , , , , and it is well known that demotic script is syllabic in character, and each sign represents one syllable of the consonant–vowel type,    . It is clear and generally accepted that a syllabic script is in question, but in significant publication, , the authors point out that they are not capable to read the variant of the demotic script used in Ptolemaic period sign by sign, although they are able to read the variants of this script used in Egypt before this period. Accordingly, they suggest that the text could be read word after word, additionally assuming an absolute language identity in the forming of sentences, phrases, and all the names of rulers and gods in the text in ancient Egyptian (Hieroglyphs), ancient Egyptian (Demotic) with the ancient Greek text.
In the text that follows, the perceptions and results of our research in analyzing and deciphering the middle text of the Rosetta Stone are presented, starting from the assumption that the text in the demotic script was written in the language of the ancient Macedonians, i.e. in the ancient Macedonian language, but and not in ancient Egyptian language.
In the first section, the basic characteristics of the analyzed script are given, as well as the procedure of wiring for sound of: syllabic signs, of pure consonants, of pure vowels, of few identified pictographic signs, and ligatures.. Unlike the research by the Oriental Institute, Chicago, USA, presented in , in our research of the demotic script we start from the basic fact: that is the syllabic script and we consider it sign by sign, i.e. syllable by syllable.
In the second section, by applying the rules for wiring for sound presented in the first section chapter, the following things are presented: the formation of the superlative of adjectives, the method of making the plural of nouns, the formation of definite and indefinite forms of nouns, formation of masculine and feminine of nouns, and passive and active forms of verbs.
In the third section the names of the territories and peoples that we find in the text are considered. We succeeded in identifying what the ancient Macedonians used to call Egypt, both parts of Egypt – Lower and Upper Egypt, as well as the ancient Macedonian name for Sinai. The names of the ethnic groups living in the ancient Egypt are also mentioned in the text.
In the fourth section the names of the ancient Macedonians’ gods are presented. For some of them we managed to figure out their function as gods, too. In the text we also identify the names of some ancient Egyptian gods, in the way they were named in original, in ancient Egyptian. We also manage to identified their names in ancient Macedonian, and we also identified how some ancient Macedonian gods were named in ancient Egyptian.
In the fifth section we present an analysis of what is extremely interesting, and we manage to find in 23rd row of the text. That is, detailed instructions how to arrange the area around the stone. These instructions are not found in the ancient Greek section of the stone. We compare our readings with the archeological evidences obtained from other discovered copies of this pharaoh’s decree in Egypt on different places, presented in . We found 100% correspondence between that what we are obtaining with our reading in this part of text, and what is archeologically evidenced to be the arrangement of the stone’s near area. This is very strong evidence that our proposed methodology of reading is correct, and that the language used in the middle text of the stone is ancient Macedonian language. Another very strong evidence for correctness of our methodology is found in the last row of the text, were an order was given indicating in which temples, in which lands and with what kinds of scripts the decree was to be written. One of the three areas indicated within the order, were the stone should be installed was Egypt’s main (capitol) city in that time, namely Alexandria. According to archeologists not one copy of this stone was found outside the area of Alexandria, .
A conclusion is added as last section of the text.
In an included appendix we give, for the first time complete transliteration, and English translation of the last 11 rows of the demotic text, from row 22 till row 32, generated by implementing our methodology for demotic script.