There is a lot of squabbling today over ownership of some of the world‘s most treasured antiquities. Countries where the ancient goodies were unearthed are imploring foreign museums to return these pieces of their heritage. For instance, Egypt wants the Obelisk of Axum back, claiming it was thieved by the Italian fascist general Pietro Badoglio during the Axis occupation of Egypt in World War Two. Which it was.
For all the mystery still enshrouding Egypt, we have far more information to work with today than Egyptologists prior to 1822 did. The striking and enigmatic hieroglyphics all over Egypt were an unlocked door into the the secrets of that civilization -- until a young philologist stood on the shoulders of a short emperor (and a few other people) to unravel the linguistic mysteries of Ancient Egypt. The key they discovered: the Rosetta Stone.