Q&A: Why was almost all the knowledge of Ancient Egypt lost until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone?


Ancient Egyptian paid the price of being over-exclusive. Since the skill of writing (and reading) hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic writing was jealously guarded by a small, exclusive caste of scribes, once the Alexandrian and Roman conquests undermined the old Pharaonic regime and made Greek the new language and culture of the elite, that skill became largely redundant, and died out with the scribes.

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Q&A: How are modern Hebrew and Arabic related to ancient cuneiform?

The Hebrew and Arabic scripts are not at all related to ancient cuneiform.

Cuneiform writing began as a pictographic script and was in use by the various Mesopotamian kingdoms from around 3500 BC to around 900 BC. It was then gradually phased out during the Neo-Assyrian Empire (ca. 900–600BC) in favour of the 22-character alphabet that had been used by the Israelites, Phoenicians and other Canaanites since around 1500 BC (finally abandoned around 100 BC)—because that was clearly more efficient and easier to use.

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