Jean-François Champollion, the decipherer of hieroglyphics

Jean-François Champollion, the decipherer of hieroglyphics, was born in Figeac in 1790.
His father, Jacques Champollion, a peddler and bookseller from the Dauphiné, arrived in Figeac around 1770, where he opened a bookshop and married a local girl.
Jean-François Champollion was 10 years old when his older brother took him with him to Grenoble and took charge of his education. Fascinated by Antiquity, he passionately studied ancient languages and scripts.
From the age of 17, dividing his time between the Collège de France and the École des Langues Orientales, he worked on the Rosetta inscription, examining hundreds of documents. On September 14, 1822, after much research and much doubt, he was finally able to exclaim: "I've got it! He had just understood that hieroglyphic writing was a complex system, "a mixture of figurative, symbolic and phonetic signs".

Treated as a "charlatan" by some, Champollion was admired by others.

Wilhelm von Humboldt said: "It is admirable and one of the most curious discoveries made in his time"; the future king Louis-Philippe exclaimed: "(This) brilliant discovery (...) is honorable not only for the scientist who made it, but for the Nation".
The town of Figeac was keen to honor its most illustrious citizen by dedicating a museum to him.



Musée Champollion – Les Écritures du Monde
place Champollion

46100 Figeac

Tél. : 05 65 50 31 08


To go further....

Champollion, Musée des Ecritures

Le Musée Champollion est unique car il inscrit l'oeuvre de Jean-François Champollion au coeur de la grande histoire de l'écriture.

Cette aventure tout à la fois intellectuelle et technique qui dure depuis plus de 5000 ans. Sa façade aux «mille lettres», faite de verre et de cuivre, est l'oeuvre d'Alain Moatti, architecte, et de Pierre Di Sciullo, graphiste. Elle symbolise la traversée du temps accomplie par le visiteur dans le musée.
Ce livre, une invitation à la visite et à la découverte des écritures à travers les photographies de Patrice Thébault.
La collection égyptienne du musee champollion

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