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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki
Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

A Rosetta Stone-like tablet.

The Rosetta Stone was an artifact discovered in Egypt in the 18th century, on which was carved a text in Greek and two dead Egyptian languages. The discovery of this artifact represented a breakthrough in the understanding of the theretofore untranslated Egyptian languages.

Over time, "Rosetta Stone" became a metaphor for any similar object or key that unlocks an unknown language. (DS9 - Mission: Gamma novel: Cathedral; CoE eBook: Ghost)


In 2155, Hoshi Sato played the role of a Rosetta Stone by deciphering an Antianna message. She was inspired by the idea that "Antianna" was not their name but their message. It led her to understanding the message was a request to join with them. When she agreed, it resulted in a telepathic-like connection with an ancient computer consciousness which had misinterpreted current events as the return of an old enemy. (ENT novel: Rosetta)

Sato created an algorithm for the universal translator to translate a message from the Shisali. By thinking outside the box, she realized the Rosetta Stone keyword was "Not". (ENT - Strange New Worlds 10 short story: "You Are Not in Space")

In 2273, when V'Ger probed Spock's mind while he was on Vulcan, he suspected he was being studied as a Rosetta Stone for both logic and emotion. (TOS novelization: The Motion Picture)

In 2273, a similar artifact to the Rosetta Stone was uncovered on Abaris shortly before the planet's destruction. A floor tile deep within a vast underground chamber had identical text carved in three languages: native hieroglyphs, an unknown language, and the written language of the Sumerians, an ancient Earth culture. (TOS comic: "Aberration on Abaris")

In 2293, Spock explained to Kirk that the rarity of finds such as the Rosetta Stone and Fabrini Lexicons made them invaluable in archeology. (TOS novel: Best Destiny)

In 2365, Captain Donald Varley of the USS Yamato thought he'd found a Rosetta Stone for the Iconian language with an artifact found on Denius III. Though Varley figured out the location of Iconia, his vessel was infected by a computer virus that ultimately destroyed the ship. (TNG episode: "Contagion")

In 2367, Zelfreetrollan of Jarada provided Jean-Luc Picard with Federation treaty documents drawn up in English and Jaradan. Picard asked Data to confirm the accuracy of their English translation to avoid a war. Data hoped the two papers were a Rosetta Stone, but he was unable to correlate the two documents, which suggested that the Jaradan document either had unexplained syntax or was a random collection of words. (TNG novel: Imbalance)

Other Rosetta Stone artifacts[]

  • Abaris tablet
  • Denius III artifact
  • Fabrini Lexicons
  • Taurus Key
  • Ylan artifact



External links[]