We have a winner. You may think that you've seen pictures of the most impressive Jack-O-Lanterns this Halloween season, but nothing could top this pumpkin illuminating a replica of the famed Rosetta Stone, which enabled scholars to finally translate Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Advertisement

The pumpkin was made by Mike Matola, an artist who owns Line By Line posters, which sells portraits of famous individuals—both real and fictional—that are made using only their own words.

Carved in 196 BC and discovered in 1799 AD, the actual Rosetta Stone is a decree passed by a council of Egyptian priests. It is one of a series that affirm the royal cult of the 13-year-old Ptolemy V on the first anniversary of his coronation. It was written at a time when three different scripts were being used in Egypt: hieroglyphic (usually reserved for religious texts), demotic (the common script used for daily purposes) and Greek (the language of Egypt's rulers during this period). The Rosetta Stone used all three, so that anyone who was literate in Egypt could read it.

Advertisement

For years, archaeologists had struggled to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, which had gone out of use soon after the end of the fourth century AD. But, the Greek text on the stone provided the key that allowed 19th century scholars to decipher the mysterious writing.

Finally, a Jack-O-Lantern for Egyptologists. Or, translated into hieroglyphics, it's a "Fire Gourd":