August 19, 2016

Yaza Kumar Stone Inscription which the credit of World Cultural Heritage is long overdue (Part II)

Rosetta_Stone_BW(Continued from 18-7-2015)
Scholars across the world are tempted to compare Yaza Kumar Stone Inscriptions with other stone inscriptions of similar nature, particularly the Rosetta Stone Inscription.
“The Rosetta stone is a granodiorite stele” inscribed with three scripts on one page, apportioned into three divisions. In upper division is the text in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the middle is the same text in Demotic script and the lower division bears the same text in ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts [with some minor differences among them], it provided, like Yaza Kumar Stone Inscription, the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
It measures 45 inches high, 28.5 inches wide and 11 inches thick. The date of the inscribed stone is 196 B.C. very much older than Yaza Kumar Inscription. But like the latter, the Rosetta is not the oldest but only one of old Egyptian inscriptions. However both the Rosetta and Yaza Kumar deserve the credit of a certain degree of antiquity in the context of the histories of their respective countries.
Unlike in the case of Yaza Kumar Inscription, the background history of the discovery of the Rosetta inscribed stone is different. It was first discovered by chance by an amateur collector of antiquities, who was a French soldier named Pierre-Francois Bouchard, of the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt. During the Battle of the Nile between Britain and France under Napoleon Bonaparte fought in 1799, the said French soldier strolled around the nearby ruined monuments whenever the fighting were suspended. It was near a village named Rosetta on the delta of the Nile that he found the stone among the debris in 1799. In 1801, when the British defeated the French and took over the ancient Egyptian seaport capital Alexandria, Rosetta stone inscription was taken to England. Now it is on display at the British Museum, London. This Rosetta stone of 3 feet 9 inches high, 2 feet 4 ½ inches wide and 11 inches thick has the upper portion and the right side corner broken and the broken pieces are still at large.
As in the case of Yaza Kumar stone inscription, the Rosetta stone inscription gives clues to the deciphering of Hieroglyphics [Pictorial writing of ancient Egypt]. From other two scripts Demotic and ancient Greek clues were obtained. An English philologist named Thomas Young first picked out the word “Ptolemy” from Egyptian Hieroglyphics through Demotic and ancient Greek. But it was the French scholar Jean-Francois Champollion in Paris who was able to transliterate the entire Egyptian Hieroglyphics in 1822.
The text of the Rosetta was a decree issued at Memphis, ancient Egypt in the year 196 B.C. on behalf of King Ptolemy V. After the coronation of King Ptolemy V the decree was issued establishing the divine cult of the new ruler and permitting other cults to exist by a congress of priests. So like Yaza Kumar stone inscription, the Rosetta stone inscription was the essential key to modern understanding of ancient Egyptian literature and civilization. The term Rosetta Stone is now used in other contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge.
Just as the Rosetta Stone continues to be a popular subject of study among scholars, so also is Yaza Kumar Stone Inscription.
Myanmar People, both monks and laymen alike are very much thankful to the UNESCO for enlisting the world’s largest marble Book at Mandalay in the memory of the world and three ancient Pyu city states of Vishnu, Sri Kestra and Hanlin admitted into the World Cultural Heritage. They are also hopeful that Yaza Kumar Stone Inscription and other inscriptions of similar nature and value across the country queuing up for UNESCO’s attention would get their deserving places in the world.


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