It was a harrowing task but the Napoleonic force finally had their day of rest. The next day they marched for hundreds of miles to their current position. The soldiers had found a tunnel to the ziggurat they had come across. They started digging, and came across a room, it led to a corridor. They kept going further and further until they found a stone. It was a stone filled with inscriptions. The soldiers didn't exactly know what they were looking at. They told their superiors what they had found. It was the Rosetta Stone which translated Demotic and Greek script into the Hieroglyphs known today.
My name is Max Verba. I had traveled to the United States to do my doctoral work on the etyimology of the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone had been translated from Egyptian, Greek and Demotic. The actual translation had never been recovered. It was the work of my team to translate and find the other stones which we knew were in existence. I had come to the conclusion that this sacred text was a rich source of history. My colleagues and I had come to the conclusion that it was one of three actual rosetta stones that existed. The other two had never been found, or were destroyed. Our job was to translate the existing rosetta stone. It was the key to the knowledge for translating the hiroglyphs. We had come to the british museum, and we looked at the text and we had the stone at our disposal. We looked at the coptic greek, and we started to decipher the text. I had a bachelors degree in archaeology, and my doctorate in etemology of languages from Harvard.
Our goal was to find the other two rosetta stones still in existence. We had contacted France and wanted to see where Napolean had taken his army. We asked each other clues as to why the Rosetta stone was where it was. We contemplated how the Napolenic soldiers had come across the stone in the first place.
The British said we could examine the Rosetta stone and make internal indentions to the copies of the original text. We had in our possesion three maps, and we were to leave the next day to do archaelogical work, and look at the remnants for any clues to where the other two stones were. We had access to three scrolls, and had translated the other two languages. We had come to an impass for the meaning of the hiroglyphs from the coptic greek we were looking at.
It was four thirty-seven in the morning when Haj had called me. Bruce was the other man on the team and he had contacted Bree. Bree was the female of the group but she could shoot the shit with us all. She had read our books and wanted to devote all her time in finding the other two stones. Her job was in archaeology, and she had a doctorate in theology. She had worked and traveled the world.
Going on; we met together for coffee and donuts. We talked to a man named Kafir who had emigrated from Egypt. He was to talk to France's consulate, and set up our itenerary for the day. Kafir was to meet us at 5. We boarded our plane and talked to a man named Jean. Jean took us to a secret observatory and walked with us with two armed guards at the palace. Then we were to go to the Francois College of Polytechnic for Advanced Studies. We met with three different Professors at the Polytechnic.
After our coffee. We were to board a helicopter to the armed republic of France; we were shown our room at the Palace and convened later.
I told Raj and Bree to get all our belongings for the trip. Bruce was our camera man for the trip. He had written the History of the Rosetta Stone. He had planned the routes to where we were going after our three months in France.
"Bree are you nervous" I said. She said she was, but we had done our research and it was time to collect on our hard work. We had been on NPR and everyone knew what our work would enable us to do in the future.
"Max," she said. I want you to find and study map four." "I studied it last night, and I had found that the contours for Napolean's army were different than the maps the consulate was going to show us." I want to make sure we do our due diligence and are to find the exact whereabouts to the planned areas after our three months here." I said she was right and I told her that I would go over them with a fine toothed comb. I looked at Map Four and came to the conclusion that she was right. We met with the consulate and started looking at the maps. The maps were different, so we spent the next day translating the differences. We had a french translator reading the inscriptions on the maps. We were right, and we were glad we did our homework.
Haj had stayed up for three nights looking at where we would fly for the departure to the middle east, after our stint in France. It was his time in the sun to prove to his family that there was really a second or third stone. They thought he was stupid, and was wasting his time. He came from a conservative family but they had spent their entire life savings to send Haj to Harvard and the United States. They were proud of his work, but were adamant that nobody would ever translate the hieroglyphs. They believed Bruce that there was only one stone but that it had traveled to Greece, Egypt and the middle east. They thought that there was only one author." I told them to read my book and told them that three different countries wanted the same rosetta stone. Who would go to the trouble to have three different stones made when they could translate them to papyrus. They said the libraries could ruin the translations. They were afraid that their libraries would be destroyed and so perfect a manuscript would have to be written in stone.
My book had only been read in the academic communities. There was a critical backlash in the middle east concerning my theories. There was exact evidence proving my theories though. One archaeologist named Emish had come to the conclusion that the three stones had come from one larger stone. There was x-ray evidence showing the three stones had broken from one larger stone. The naysayers had said it was blashphemy, and they used the stone for something else. They had even refuted the fact that their existed a larger stone.
Bree came running and shouted Let's get the fuck moving. She had the balls of the group, and talked like a fucking sailor. Bruce and Haj had talked to Kafir, and we spent the rest of the day eating crepes and going over the maps.
Bree knew that when the Napoleanic army had moved the stone that there was writing etched into the walls of where the stone was kept. It was her job to find the clues buried beneath the tomb of where it was kept. Then we would translate whatever we needed to find. We had three sponsors providing the money necessary to find the two other stones. Once we found the other two stones and had them each translated we were to give them a fifty fifty split and the right to keep at least one stone in their possession.
We have a problem Bruce said. The consulate told us we couldn't photograph the maps. We had to pay them a sum of 5 million dollars to photograph the maps. Our sponsors were reluctant at first but they said they would do anything necessary to back their investment in us.
We got our okay and Bruce was given back his camera. We called Bree, Carmen Sandiego and asked her to get our shit ready. Our three months were up and we were ready to go to Cairo and start our trip. Haj and Kafir took out our Glenlivet Scotch that the President of Egypt had sent us and we took three shots and were ready for our maiden voyage. Cairo was intermitten with a civil war, but it had ended peacefully. We had our passports stamped and flew 50 hours to Cairo. Haj, Kafir and I were out cold while Bree and Bruce had looked at the maps. We only had four months in Cairo, but we were to visit 5 cities. Our routes were all mapped out, but we were going to have a problem negotiating our way, through the streets of Cairo.
Kafir woke us all up. The pilot wished us good luck on our journey. Max we want you to succeed on your journey and we will meet again sometime. We had promised them to have drinks with us when we were famous and living the good life. This was our defining moment in the sand we said. It has taken us our whole lives to come to this moment and bask in the glory when we succeed. Our plane had just descended and we were met with a flurry of photographers taking our picture for the Post Dispatch.
Bruce had joined the military when he was 25 and had been a pilot for four years and had always worn his favorite jumpsuit. He wasn't like us, and was sort of a cowboy of the group and had clicked with Bree. We called him Luke
Kafir spoke three languages and talked to the Historical League in Cairo. "Kafir"
Bruce had said. Let's fucking roll. Alright Luke he said. We got our luggage at the terminal. Haj gave me a thumbs up, and in his best John Wayne inpersonation said " Get the Fuck moving soldier."
A damn if you do I said. I'll be your fucking Huckleberry, and we both laughed.
We met at the conference table with all our notes. They had given us coffee, and the traditional dessert of Cairo. Max they said. Get the laptop out and show us where we need to start looking. We did all the work for you Max, but were still unsure about where the map in 1800 had been located. We had spoken to three tribal clans, and they had directed us to three towns.
The archaeological dig we were going to do was an exact replication of a tell from the unearthing of Megiddo. We got our specimens out and started on our excavations. The pottery we found told us we were on the right track.
Bree said that the inscriptions were of a greek city state. It was in the biblical times from the papyrus found in the Qumran caves. We had the three scrolls in existence. Kafir agreed and said from his finds and study of the Hammurabi Code that the dialects of the sacred word knowledge had come from a Greek manuscript. It was my time to shed some light on the subject. It was the early Egyptian writing in hieroglyphs that we came across that led us into a deep discussion to where the other two stones were kept. Kafir had lived in Egypt his whole life, and had studied the hieroglyphs.
Bruce had told us to stay hydrated from his years in the army and told us not to work too hard. We had enough supplies for todays dig. Haj lit up a cigar and said we were getting the right information. I started talking about the Demotic script and how the Greek word for knowledge had me stumped. The literary genre was confusing, so I took out our translation of the Demotic and came to the conclusion that the Egyptian translation for the hieroglyphs had repeated the number four. The Greek translation for the number four was a ceremonial meaning to the star of capricola meaning upon to death our sacred sister has opened the gate to heaven. The God Neru promised the Egyptian oracle to stand in the light. The meaning to stand in the light was the Greek letter o from sigma to omega our moon has lightened the heavens.
Bree started reflecting from a poem from Sidartha that once man has decided to conquer all he has come to a resting place and this resting place has given him everlasting peace.
Haj finished his cigar and told Bree to cowboy up and let's get the fuck out of here. Bruce got the jeep going and we got the fuck out of there. Kafir got on the landsat and told us once we got out of Cairo to meet up at Bangrila the next city on our conquest. We had seven clues from our excavation. We were tired of going over the translations, but we kept our game face on and went back to our hotel in Cairo.
We watched the news and took a nap and recharged our batteries. Bangrila was a small city-state that housed 600 peasants and 25 goatherders. It was 25 miles of dirt roads. Bruce had loaded up the extra gasoline we needed for the trip. We took three rifles and two packs of ammo for the trip. Bruce was also security for the trip and had spoken to Kafir about the tribesman.
We got the go ahead from Kafir and were on our way to Bangrila. It took us four hours to get to Bangrila. Bangrila was crowded that day and we started looking at our maps that we had gotten from the Polytechnic. Bruce said we have an area of 2 miles to look. We cordened off a 2 mile stip of land and looked at the bas reliefs. We got out our shovels and started to dig. The heat was unbearable. The dry stink of the desert made our skin clammy. The heat had pushed us past the melting point from which we could bear, but we kept digging anyway. The dust gave us lacerations. Kafir spoke to the tribesman and told us we had three hours of sunlight left and that we had to leave to get back to our hotel. We couldn't stand leaving so early but it was what Kafir had said; so we packed our shit and left. Bruce drove like a bat out of hell and we got there before sundown.
We ate our dinner and did a brain session like we always had. Bree started the session with what she new about the history of the Demotic, Greek and Egyptian writing and what it meant. It was the 25 verse of the Demotic, she said. It clearly translates from the word logos. The Egyptian text was different she went on. It is right I said. Bruce was snoring as usual.
It is not enough, however merely to record the data observed. The ultimate aim is to know the people who lived at an ancient site. This search for the human past requires disciplined imagination; in the interpretation of archaelogical data the practice of art comes into play. Without scientific discipline speculations about life in biblical times are valueless; yet recorded data, no matter how thoroughly the record is made, are dull and meaningless without the breath of life given them by reconstruction and interpretation.
The human past invoked in me an argument to the historical fabric of the specimens we had in our possession. We looked at the evidence. We looked and contemplated the evidence until our eyes started to bleed. It was the only clue. The only clue to find what we were looking for. The contemplation gave us a seizure like grasp to the hidden past we were looking for.
I looked at the evidence, and I frowned. I couldn't understand why the garment we found on our dig had purple dye in it. It told us we were wrong in our thinking. I just couldn't believe it. Haj thought the same thing. Why would such a civilization have purple dye. Bree was clueless. From her vast knowledge of theology she said the cloth was from a rich social class and that there was no way that royalty could have lived in the same vicinity as peasants. Were we looking at the map differently? Did we actually miss the coordinates. The city wall was fortified in biblical times Bree had said. If we were in a fortified city wall everyone was clueless.
I called one of my colleagues at Harvard. I told him I needed some help. We had been working with a post doc, and he had worked at the same places of the renowned Edward Robinson. He had studied Robinson and his pioneering work in archaeology. He told me that our locations were right and to unfold the mystery. The exact place you would look is deep into the heart of the weaver. The weaver weaves a pattern with reckless abandon and comes across a fine point and finally finishes what he started. He comes to the conclusion that his dedication doesn't question the facts but is only satisfied with the end result. Don't worry about whats in the pattern just weave and you'll come to the same conclusion that you'll always find. Pete had worked with me in Gershon. We had worked in Gershon for over a year. It was his relentless search for the truth that made him one of the best archaelogists that has ever worked. He said his truth was a compass into the past. His requiem has just begun. I told him he was the conductor of the greatest symphony ever conducted, and I knew I was right. We were intrigued with the past and that was our symphony into the cultures of civilizations. That's why we worked so well together. He had taken a poor uneducated fool in archaeology and turned his pupil into the a master symposiast. He was my mentor and friend for over 20 years. I told him God speed and hung up the phone.
Bree wanted to know what Pete had said, and I told her to keep weaving. She gave me a bewildered look. So I told her the clues to the past are upon us we just have to interpret the clues in an everlasting sonnet until we didact the conclusion were looking for. The pottery we had found had an inscription on it but we couldn't tell what it was.
Haj had a doctorate in mathematics and he had drawn a fibonacci sequence and figured out the area of the ruins we were looking for. Haj said we were right and we had the right coordinates. Haj contemplated math as an ideal to the truth of man. Sort of like Plato had in his Republic. That as math as pure it is has an imaginary magnitude into the soul. Haj had the only Fields medal of the group. He had worked with our team for over 16 years, and told us that math is purely the simplification of truth magnified into the principle of exact knowledge.
Kafir took a nap while Bree, Haj and I had taken out our translations for the Demotic. The Demotic script was harder to decipher than we thought. The Greek wasn't the same as it is today. It was adopted from a Koine Greek. The Koine Greek was during the Hellenistic times of the bible. We were looking at Coptic Greek. The last verse of the third paragraph, we will build the code, and into the code we will seek a destination. We looked at the demotic and the word "destination" was replaced with road. Seek a road and you will find peace. So we were looking for the destination and looking for a road. The letters were different and we still didn't have the translation so we had Haj write a code and find what letters would uncover the word we were looking for. Haj told us it would take some time. So Bree and I went and sat down and took a little nap while Haj did his magic.
Haj came running over. He showed us his 3 page theorem he had been working on. So he got out his computer and ran his code and came up with the final letter to the translation we were looking for. The letter was f. A common letter in Greek, but very different for the Demotic text. It had taken Haj four hours to come up with his theorem. Bree and I looked over it hard and translated the Coptic into English so we could understand what we were looking at. It was a loose interpretation though. The program that translated the Coptic was from a fellow at Harvard. He had specialized in computer science. He had developed an advanced algorithm akin to what Haj was working on. It was the best translation we could find.
We told Haj we had a problem. His theorem had some problems we said. He said it was right and told us to fuck off. He ran the program seven times and told us it was right and that eventually it came across an undefined character set, and the reason was that it didn't recognize the 5th translation and that I should talk with Adam. Adam was the pale faced computer scientist I was talking about. We didn't have the time or the patience and Adam couldn't fix the problem anyway. It was the only program that we had; so Haj said he would put it an advanced matrix and contacted his buddy.
Haj contacted Patrick. Patrick was in Israel working on Graduate work in mathematics. Patrick was an M.I.T. grad who was working on particle physics and combinatorial mathematics on advanced algorithms. "Hey Pat" this is Haj I need your help. I need to do an infinite series, and a Markov chain on a matrix.
I need you to send me the matrix Haj. "Right away," Haj it's going to take me two days to send it back to you. I don't have the time Pat I need it fucking now. Alright just give me a fucking hour and I'll send it. It's going to take me a little time but I've got the answer you're looking for.
It took Pat 3 hours to finally send it over. Pat I owe you one." Haj said.
We got it Max. The letter to the road was a t.
Bruce and Kafir finally woke up, and said," What time is it?" It's 3 in the morning and we're going to have to set up the tents for the night and camp here until the roads are cleared. We needed to go back to the hotel. We set up our tents took out our sleeping bags and camped for the night.
Good morning I have tea for you in his worst Arabian dialect Bruce said. Guten Morgan I said in my worst German accent. Bree said thank God. We took down the tents and headed out of Bangrila.
We got to the hotel, showered and called Patrick and told him thanks for the help. Our sponsors had called and wanted to know what our itinery looked like. I told them we had just finished the third translation to the Demotic text we were looking for; we needed more time on the Greek. We found out everything we needed to on Bangrila and we were ready to travel to Kafka.
Kafka was 80 miles to the east of Bangrila. We did another brain session. Kafir knew the area well and told us we would have to camp for three days. Bruce packed extra water for the trip and we were off to Kafka.
We got to Kafka. Bree drove this time. I slept and I started going over the work Pete and I had done in our mind. Edward Robinson kept flashing in my head. It was his work that kept Pete and I awake all that time. It was his work that had set the standard for every archaelogist in the whole world. It was his spirit that kept me going. It was his tenacity that drove me to the point of exhaustian. It was his legacy that kept me refreshed. It was Edward Robinson who devised a new principle for ascertaining the ancient names of modern sites, a principle which has since proved to be remarkably useful. By the use of this method combined with a thorough knowledge of the geographical sources in the Bible and other ancient writings. Robinson was able to identify over a hundred ancient sites and thus lay the foundation for the first scientific map of ancient Palestine.
Gezer was dug by R.A.S. Macalister. Ernst Sellin worked at Taanach, Schumacher cut trenches at Meggido, Jericho was dug by a German Austrian expedition and the first excations at Samaria were begun by George A Reisner I told Bree as I woke up. And our names will be known all around the world. She said.
We got to Kafka. Kafka was crowded and Kafir said wait. It was a tribal skirmish and they were headed our way. Bruce told us to get the fuck down. He grabbed his rifle and stood guard outside our jeep. Shots rang out like cannon fodder. Bruce told us all to get armed and ready. I was scared to the point of calapsing and clasped my rifle and took some ammo out of my bag. Bree looked as scared as I did. Kafir told us to stay down. We stayed there for 10 hours lying on our backs waiting for the guerrillas to leave the area. They finally left, and Kafir told us that we'd be okay. Bruce and Kafir stood watch the whole night. With all the comotion we didn't get any work done, but we all thanked God that we were okay. The civil war was over but the rebel towns in the areas had still fought for territorial lands.
Kafka was a dry desert village. The tomb we were looking at was 5 by 5. Today we were looking at the inscriptions on the walls and finding any debris that would uncover what we were looking for. The inscriptions were hierogylphs. This was Kafirs specialty and stared at the walls with a magnifying glass. We all looked around the tomb encasing the whole tomb looking for clues.
About the author
I published Trigonometry Simplified on Amazon. I like to write fiction as well as non-fiction. This is all a learning process for me and as I progress through this maze called life hopefully my passion and writing becomes greater.