The celebrated Rosetta Stone which supplied Champollion with the key for the decipherment of the ancient monuments of Egypt was found near Fort St Julien, 4 m.
Layard at Nineveh opened up a new world, coinciding as they did with the successful decipherment of the cuneiform system of writing.
- The decipherment of the inscriptions of the XVIIIth Theban Dynasty led, before the middle of the 19th century, to the discovery of the important part played in the Syrian campaigns of Tethmosis (Thothmes) III.
There was a further complication in that each one of these characters had at least two different phonetic values; and there were other intricacies of usage which, had they been foreknown by inquirers in the middle of the 19th century, might well have made the problem of decipherment seem an utterly hopeless one.
James Prinsep was then devoting his rare genius to the decipherment of the early inscriptions of northern India, especially those of Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. He derived the greatest assistance from Tumour's work not only in historical information, but also as regards the forms of words and grammatical inflexions.