In light of the recent news of Facebook’s robots having created their own language, Candida Moss goes back to the story of decipherment in her story Inside the Deadly Pursuit of Unsolved Languages. It was almost 218 years ago, she says, that the Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 and with that the deciphering of hieroglyphics. The author traces the reasons that the stone was understood at all as a combination of Napolean’s ambition and the genius of a child prodigy called Francois Champollion.
Another indeciherable script that remains so is the language used in the Indus Valley in 2600-199 BCE. It never had a Rosetta Stone equivalent(which had three languages imprinted on it, owing to which there was a breakthrough in understanding the script). Rongorongo, the script used at Easter Island; Cretan hieroglyphics; Proto-Elamite, a 5000-year-old ancient Iranian writing system, and markings used by Bulgarian woodcutters continue to surprise and even led to a tragic death in recent times
during the Cold War. To know more about this, read the essay.