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In July 1799, a French officer serving in Napoleon's Egyptian expedition unearthed a granite block bearing text in three different scripts Greek, demotic Egyptian, and hieroglyphics. Following the discovery, a remarkable competition ensued for possession of the stone as well as for decoding its inscription. Using all the elements of a detective thriller, the authors, a well-known novelist and a leading Egyptologist, tell the story of international intrigue surrounding the intellectual quest to crack the stone's code the key to reading ancient Egyptian texts for the first time in 14 centuries. Also included are reproductions of the stone and its inscriptions as well as portraits of the key figures involved in its translation.