Jean-Francois Champollion in Sudan
Jean-Francois Champollion’s gravemarker subtly speaks of his enormous significance. Champollion can conservatively be called a child prodigy. He taught himself to read at 5 years old and by age 11 he knew Greek, Latin and Hebrew. By age 16 he had mastered a dozen more languages. By age 20 he could speak 13 languages. At age 19 he was already an assistant professor at Grenoble Academy and it was there that he became interested in all things Egyptian. That same year a soldier, Pierre-Francois Bouchard, of the French expedition to Egypt found a black stone inscribed with Greek, Egyptian Demotic and Egyptian hieroglyphics in an Egyptian town about 35 miles north of Alexandria named Rosetta. A number of attempts were made to decipher the stone. Then in 1814, Thomas Young, foreign secretary of the Royal Society of London (the Brits had absconded with the stone in 1801 after they defeated the French at Alexandria), began a correspondence with 24-year-old Jean-Francois Champollion, who had already produced scholarly work on Egypt. Then in early 1822, Champollion started seriously trying to decipher the stone. He presented his first rough translation on September 19, 1822 and continued to refine it for the next 2 years. On July 28, 1828 Champollion headed a team of French and Italian scholars that set sail for Egypt to continue explorations. During the 19-month trip, the ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, offered the French team 2 obelisks that were standing at the entrance of Luxor Temple. Eventually, one was transported to Paris. It now stands on the Place de la Concorde. Champollion also brought a number of large boxes of other items back to France, many of which are now displayed at the Louvre. Alas, his exhaustive travels took their toll and he died of an apparent stroke at age 41. The world will be forever indebted to him for illuminating the Rosetta Stone.
The production of rice in South Carolina would not have been possible without African slaves. They provided the knowledge and experience as well as the labor necessary for large-scale rice cultivation. The importance of slaves to rice production led to a rapid rise in South Carolina’s slave population. By 1740, approximately 40,000 Africans were living in South Carolina, versus approximately 20,000 whites. Sudan Map Although the production of cotton eventually eclipsed the production of rice in South Carolina, the culture that emerged on the coastal rice plantations made a lasting impression on South Carolina’s landscape, economy, and society. Michael A.
Rembis See also: Agriculture; Food and Diet; Plantations; Slavery, African Country; South Carolina. Bibliography Carney, Judith A. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Countrys. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Joyner, Charles W. Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984. Littlefield, Daniel C. Rice and Slaves: Ethnicity and the Slave Trade in Colonial South Carolina. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981. “Rice Cultivation in Georgetown County.”
www.cr.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/3rice/3facts1.htm. Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974.