Jean-François Champollion

Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832) studied Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Coptic at a very young age, before learning Persian, Sanskrit and Arabic. Thanks to facsimiles of the Rosetta Stone, he discovered in 1809 that there existed, between the hieroglyphs and the demotic, a third writing, the hieratic, a cursive deformation of the hieroglyphs. He thus deciphered the first royal cartouches in 1821. Appointed curator of the Egyptian department of the Louvre in 1826, he became professor of Egyptology at the Collège de France in 1831, a year before his death.