Rosetta Stone

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Rosetta Stone

1. A tablet found near Rosetta, Egypt, in 1799. Carved with Greek, demotic, and hieroglyphic inscriptions, it became the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian writing. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone made ancient Egypt accessible to us today.
2. By extension, an important clue to understanding something that is challenging or puzzling. Don't worry, this map will be the Rosetta stone that gets us out of this cave. I've been struggling with this experiment, but these new results may prove to be the Rosetta stone that makes everything else comprehensible.
See also: stone
References in periodicals archive ?
Every time a customer purchases a Rosetta Stone product, he or she purchases one unit.
The cluster, just 10,000 light-years from Earth, promises to be a Rosetta stone for deciphering star formation in an ultradense, extreme environment.
In spite of a description in the gallery statement likening the team's chaotically schematic, flowchartlike drawings to a Rosetta stone, these maps of everything from daily errands to astronomical bodies to the pair's own working process, mostly displayed on the wall in constellations with both found and original photographs of people in group settings, did little to help solve the mysteries of the sometimes puzzling exhibition.
The photographs of Barbara Morgan, who collaborated with the youthful Graham for days at a time to perfect a single image, functioned as a Rosetta stone for several of the reconstructions.
"They've found something new here, but we don't know yet whether it is a Rosetta stone that will let us translate the mysteries of networks into something we understand," says Steven Strogatz, a mathematician at Cornell University.
For Lubin, the Zapruder film is a "crucial cinematic text of the twentieth century," albeit "less a Rosetta stone than an illustration of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle." Interrogated under the klieg light of history, this strip of film isn't so much a revelation of truth as the breakdown of representation--and so too Shooting Kennedy.
"One hesitates to christen any astronomical object a Rosetta stone [for studying extrasolar planets], but in this case, one should not hesitate too long."
If nothing else, Phenomena is an unforgettable phenomenon that can stop us in our tracks like the Grand Canyon or offer, to more sustained viewing with a magnifying glass, a Rosetta Stone for understanding the international community of dazzling eccentrics who flourished in the '30s, from Edith Sitwell and Marlene Dietrich to Edward James and Sergei Diaghilev.
Noting that jets are common in objects ranging from newborn stars to galactic cores, the new find "may well prove to be a Rosetta stone for understanding the launch and collimation of stellar jets," he says.
In the world of breast cancer research, the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 may prove to be a Rosetta stone. Mutations in this pair of genes, identified in 1994 and 1995, respectively, account for the large majority of inherited breast and ovarian cancers.
"Jupiter gives us in some sense a Rosetta stone for what the early solar system was like," he says.
But new evidence suggests that a group of faint, quescent galaxies, less than 5 percent as distant, may serve as a Rosetta stone for understanding conditions in the very early universe.