Pobjoy Mint announces the third coin in the Egyptian Gods series on behalf of Sierra Leone, commemorating 250 years since the birth of British Egyptologist Dr. Thomas Young. The series features four Egyptian gods, with the third coin depicting the god Ra.
Hieroglyphs were used by Egyptians for thousands of years but, following the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the imposition of Hellenistic rule, the script gradually ceased to be used. Roman and Greek authors, who could not read hieroglyphs, believed them to be symbolic and not phonetic – a belief that went unquestioned, and effectively hampered decipherment for centuries.
The breakthrough came with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. The stone records a decree given by Ptolemy V in 196 BCE and is, crucially, written in three languages: hieroglyphs, demotic and ancient Greek. By 1814, Dr. Young had completely translated the “enchorial” text of the Rosetta Stone using a list with 86 demotic words, and then studied the hieroglyphic alphabet.
The translation of hieroglyphs allowed for the world to understand many of ancient Egypt’s mysteries and myths – including the ancient Egyptian religion, which centered on the interactions of Egyptians with deities believed to be present in, and in control of, the world.
Ra was the primary name of the sun god of ancient Egypt. He was often considered to be the king of the gods and thus the patron of the pharaoh and one of the central gods of the Egyptian pantheon. He was also described as the creator of everything.
He was believed to travel across the sky in solar barques and, during the night, to make his passage in another barque vessel through the underworld, where, in order to be born again for the new day, he had to vanquish the evil serpent Apopis or Apep. Ra was usually portrayed as a falcon-headed man and shared characteristics with the sky god Horus.
The Proof Fine Silver coin is presented in our newest red box design with a certificate of authenticity. The Proof Fine Silver Goldclad Colored coin is presented in our newest red box design with a certificate of authenticity.
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