JEAN FRANÇOIS CHAMPOLLION (1790-1832)
A 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.
- Dawson, W. R., and E. P. Uphill. Who Was Who in Egyptology, pp. 58-60. London, 1972.
AZIZ S. ATIYA