Talk:WikiJournal of Humanities/Rosetta Stone

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WikiJournal of Humanities
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WikiJournal of Humanities is an open-access, free-to-publish, Wikipedia-integrated academic journal for humanities, arts and social sciences topics. WJH WikiJHum Wiki.J.Hum. WikiJHum WikiHum WikiHumanities Wikijournal of Humanities Wikiversity Journal of Humanities WikiJournal Humanities Wikipedia Humanities Wikipedia Humanities journal Free to publish Open access Open-access Non-profit online journal Public peer review

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Article information

Author: Andrew Dalby[a][i]ORCID iD.svg  , et al.

Andrew Dalby; et al. (2019), "Rosetta Stone", WikiJournal of Humanities, 2 (1): 1, doi:10.15347/WJH/2019.001, ISSN 2639-5347, Wikidata Q64216333


Plagiarism check

Artículo bueno.svg Pass. WMF copyvio tool using TurnItIn. Direct quotes were attributed appropriately and other plagiarized material detected were nouns commonly used in referring to the topic. Jackiekoerner (discusscontribs) 21:30, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

First peer reviewer

Review by Adrienn Almásy Wikidata-logo.svg , The British Museum

These assessment comments were submitted on , and refer to this previous version of the article

Text additions and spelling updates

Suggested word additions or spelling changes to the article are illustrated in bold text.

  • The Rosetta Stone (British Museum EA24) is a granodiorite stele, found in 1799
  • potential to decipher this previously untranslated hieroglyphic script.
  • Three other fragmentary copies (Reviewer comment: Actually, three copies (one only in Greek, another only in hieroglyphs and one, in three fragments, with the three scripts.)
  • as "4 Xandikos" in the Macedonian calendar and "18 Mekhir" in the Egyptian calendar
  • Aëtus son of Aëtus (Reviewer comment: I would prefer Aetos son of Aetos as written in Greek. Aetus is the Latin variant of the Greek name but this variant is also correct.)
  • inscription in Demotic conflicts with this (Check for same spelling in rest of document)
  • ...out two years later under general Tlepolemus, when Agathoclea (check for same spelling in sentence following as well)
  • add a stele found in Elephantine and in Noub Taha after "...Rosetta Stone: the Nubayrah Stele."
  • According to the museum's records, the Rosetta Stone is its most-visited single object,[48] a simple image of it was the museum's best selling postcard for several decades, [49] and a wide variety of merchandise bearing the text from the Rosetta Stone (or replicating its distinctive shape) is sold in the museum’s retail outlets.
  • He produced a skillful suggested
  • Calls for the Rosetta Stone to be returned to Egypt were made in July 2003 by Zahi Hawass, then Secretary General Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. These calls, expressed in the Egyptian and international media, asked that the stele be
  • ...Egypt with a full-sized fibreglass colour-matched replica of the stele. This was initially displayed in the renovated Rashid National Museum, an Ottoman house in the town of Rashid (Rosetta), the closest major settlement near where the stone was found.[75]
  • ...Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza in 2013.[77] The British Museum has indicated that it will consider all requests to borrow objects from the collection. [78]
  • hydrogen atoms has proved to be the Rosetta Stone...


  • The British Museum can offer better photos (maybe one taken in the gallery with visitors?)
  • Regarding use of "early Christian" - Late Antiquity would be better as this is the official denomination of the period.
  • Regarding use of "medieval period" - Egypt specific term would be better like Mameluk era. (The link for ‘medieval period’ refers to European history.
  • "...decipherment and, since demands for the stone's return to Egypt." I would erase this as there were demands before this date.
  • "There exists no one definitive English translation ..." S. Quirke – C. Andrews, The Rosetta Stone. Facsimile drawing with an Introduction and Translations, 1988 gives translations of all three texts.
  • Wording suggestion: change "The stele almost certainly..." to "The stele was almost certainly not originally installed at Rashid (Rosetta)"
  • "Three other inscriptions containing the same Memphis decree..." The Philae inscription is not the copy of the Rosetta Stone. See Willy Clarysse: “Ptolémés et temples” In D. Valbelle (ed.) Le décret de Memphis. Colloque de la Fondation Singer-Polignac a l’occasion de la celebration du bicentenaire de la découverte de la Pierre de Rosette. Paris, 1999, p. 42. He has a list of copies of the Rosetta stone. Or the latest: Alexandra Nespoulous-Phalippou, Ptolémée Épiphane, Aristonikos et les prêtres d’Égypte. Le Décret de Memphis (182 a.C.). Édition commentée des stèles Caire RT 2/3/25/7 et JE 44901, CENIM 12, Montpellier, 2015. P. 283-285.
  • Citation update to (35): after "The Rosetta Stone had been deciphered long before they were found, but later Egyptologists, including Wallis Budge" Not page 1 but 3. This is a very old publication. It is better to use the above mentioned publications.
  • Citation update to (6): "...station of the Postal Tube Railway at Mount Pleasant near Holborn." When I follow note 6 (‘The Rosetta stone’ link) it doesn’t give the mentioned information, it leads to the BM’s Collection online. I think the author thought of the Museum’s blog: rather than the Collection online entry.
  • "ideographic characters imitated from hieroglyphs." Derived from hieroglyphs
  • Replacing ꜣ This sign is a square on the homepage. You can replace it with a ‘3’ if is necessary.
  • Citation correction: "Andrews, Carol (1985). The British Museum book of the Rosetta stone. British Museum Press. ISBN 978-0-87226-034-4." The title is: ‘The Rosetta Stone’

Second peer reviewer

Review by Cary Martin Wikidata-logo.svg , University College London

These assessment comments were submitted on , and refer to this previous version of the article

The second peer reviewer conferred with the first and agrees with the feedback and has the following additional comments:

  • Two other fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered later, and several similar Egyptian bilingual or trilingual inscriptions are now known, including two slightly earlier Ptolemaic decrees (the Decree of Canopus in 238 BC, and the Memphis decree of Ptolemy IV, c. 218 BC). > including three slightly earlier Ptolemaic decrees (the Decree of Alexandria in 243 BC, the Decree of Canopus etc.
  • This sentence is incorrect: “The stele is a late example of a class of donation stelae, which depicts the reigning monarch granting a tax exemption to the resident priesthood.[22] Pharaohs had erected these stelae over the previous 2,000 years, the earliest examples dating from the Egyptian Old Kingdom. In earlier periods, all such decrees were issued by the king himself, but the Memphis decree was issued by the priests, as the maintainers of traditional Egyptian culture.[23] “ Replace by: “These stelae, which were established on the initiative of the temples rather than that of the king, are unique to the Ptolemaic period. In the Pharaonic period it would have been unheard of for anyone but divine rulers to make national decisions. It is also important to note that this way of honoring a king was a feature of Greek cities. Rather than making his eulogy himself, the king had himself glorified and defied by his subjects or representative groups of his subjects.” [Source for this is Clarysse in Valbelle and Leclant (eds), “Le décret de Memphis”, Paris, 1999, 51 with references there to Quirke and Andrews’ work]
  • In return for these concessions > “In return”
  • Memphis decree, like the two preceding decrees in the series, > Memphis decree, like the three similar earlier decrees (OMIT: in the series),
  • "The authoritative work on the stone by British Museum curator E. A. Wallis Budge (1904) gives special emphasis to Young's contribution compared with Champollion's.[72]" Add: In his work on the stone in 1904 British Museum curator etc.
  • One general point. In referring to translations of the text, the writer should use the versions by Quirke and Andrews (and, in the case of the demotic, also Simpson). The translation by Budge (and also that in Bevan’s history), which is cited in a number of places, is obsolete and is only of historical interest. It is no longer reliable.

Comments by Jackie Koerner ,

These editorial comments were submitted on , and refer to this previous version of the article

Lead author's responses


I'm very grateful to both reviewers. Their comments are really helpful, and I'm sure they will make this a better article. They were available on 2 November. I have been busy preparing a session for itWikiCon at Como (later this week), so I haven't yet been able to get seriously to work on them! But I will as soon as I'm back from Italy. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 10:48, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm now working on the reviewers' comments. In my first edit I have adopted all the first peer reviewer's suggestions with two exceptions:
  1. I didn't change "demotic" to "Demotic" throughout because (1) lower-case balances "hieroglyph(ic)" which is also given a lower-case initial, (2) the title on this former British Museum webpage also uses lower case. But if a copy-editor agrees with the peer reviewer, that'll be fine by me!
  2. One suggested change ("The British Museum has indicated that it will consider all requests to borrow objects from the collection. [78]") is problematic because (I think) the source cited at note 78 doesn't support it. But, now that I re-read it, it doesn't support what I said either! So, for the present, I have deleted the original sentence and the footnote. I'll try to find a source supporting the suggested new sentence.
I still have two bibliographic improvements to make based on the first reviewer's comments. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 20:17, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
Nearly finished now. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 20:02, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Two remaining points are perhaps for the editor rather than the author -- at any rate, I would be glad of editorial advice.

  1. One peer reviewer said that the Museum could offer better images, including images of people looking at the Stone. Actually there are already three such images, and several other good ones, and I wonder whether a better idea would be to enlarge some of the images above the standard Wikipedia size. Does an editor have a view on this?
  2. Note my comment above re "Demotic" vs. "hieroglyphic". Both words are used a lot in this article. Both of them are English common words, therefore not necessarily capitalized. Scholarship seems to be inconsistent on whether "Demotic", when writing of Egyptian, is to be capitalized or not. My view, as a linguist, is that if we are speaking of a language/stage/linguistic register, "Demotic" should be capitalized in English, but if we are speaking of a script (as we principally are speaking here), and balancing it with "hieroglyph(ic)", it makes good sense to mark this by not capitalizing. Does an editor have a view on this? I'll happily accept an editorial decision. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 10:02, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
On this last point, I propose to retain the lowercase "demotic", balancing "hieroglyph(ic)", and to explain this choice in a footnote.
I am just having another look at the Commons category in case any good images have been missed. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 16:52, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm told by email that one of the reviewers thinks I have not fully responded to the comments above. It may be so, but until I'm told which comments are being insisted on I'm a bit stuck. I'll reply, and I hope I'll be able to satisfy the reviewer, when I know more. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 16:40, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Apparently the reviewer did not help further, so I'm going through the comments one last time to see if I've missed anything. Notes below
  • inscription in Demotic conflicts with this (Check for same spelling in rest of document)
    • I have explained my preference for "demotic" above, and have also explained it in a footnote to the article, but I wouldn't object to an editiorial change
  • He produced a skillful suggested
    • I didn't make this change because the article is in British spelling, in which "skilful" is correct
  • ...Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza in 2013.[77] The British Museum has indicated that it will consider all requests to borrow objects from the collection. [78]
    • I explained that I didn't have a source for this statement. I may add that it sounds like a press release, and an encyclopedia article isn't a press release! But if there is a source and a date and maybe a context for the British Museum's "indication", yes, it could still be relevant to add something along these lines and footnote it.
  • The British Museum can offer better photos (maybe one taken in the gallery with visitors?)
    • I commented on this above and have experimentally enlarged and rearranged the three already-present images that show visitors around the Stone. I think that's enough, really.
  • Both reviewers comment, quite rightly, that it is better to use and quote recent translations, particularly the published translation of all three texts by Quirke and Andrews. I have of course cited that translation, and used it sometimes, but the particular context in which this article was written -- it is a Wikipedia article, and was submitted as such -- explains why I haven't used it all the time and said goodbye to old Bevan and older Wallis Budge (whose work I first encountered, incidentally, 57 years ago when his translation of the Ethiopic Alexander Romance arrived, a far-travelled inter-library loan, in the mobile library that visited my home village once a week). Wikipedia depends, for sources as well as illustrations, on what is available on line and what is in the public domain. We can't quote a copyright work beyond fair use. We can consult, and our readers can read, anything at all, of course. But on-line and PD material is significantly better suited to Wikipedia editors and readers: it can be cited, quoted, and verified instantly, as often as anyone needs. So a working method for Wikipedians, if it suits the subject, is to build on PD and on-line material, and then to check against the latest sources and correct from them. That's what I aimed to do here -- helped a little, possibly, by my knowledge of Greek and Justinus's knowledge of Egyptian and by the recent translation of the demotic text that the BM itself put on line. The reviewers don't point to any specific errors in the quotations and citations of the inscription text, so, either there are so many gross errors that there was no point in listing them all, or, this method worked reasonably well. I hope it was the latter. Andrew Dalby (discusscontribs) 21:27, 11 February 2019 (UTC)