Rashid is a port city of the Nile Delta, 65 km (40 mi) east of Alexandria, in Egypt’s Beheira governorate. The Rosetta Stone was discovered there in 1799. Founded around the 9th century on site of the ancient town Rashid (Rosetta) stands on the W bank of the Rosetta (ancient Bolbitine) branch of the Nile and is now a small maritime town. (Railway and bus stations.)  Little is known of its early history although it was obviously inhabited from ancient times. During the height of the power of Alexandria it remained a small station for the ships that passed down the Bolbitine branch of the Nile. In the 9C navigation of this branch became increasingly difficult and Rosetta rose in importance. However, it was not until after the Ottoman conquest in the 16C, with the decline of Alexandria, that the town became the principal port of the North coast. From this time until the 19C it retained its importance, serving the trade between Egypt, Turkey and the Peloponese. For 300 years it outshone Alexandria and had a many-times larger population. Many wikfilahs and merchants’ houses were constructed, while the river front was strongly fortified.

History In 1799 during the French occupation of Egypt evidence of the city’s earlier history was discovered by Lieutenant Bouchard. Finds included the Rosetta
Stone, a record of gratitude from the chief Egyptian priests to Ptolemy V Epiphanes in 196 BC, written in three scripts-hieroglyphic and demotic Egyptian and Greek. It later passed to the British and was instrumental in Champollion’s decipherment of the hieroglyphic script. When Mul,lammad cAli constructed the Mal,lmiidiyyah Canal between the Nile and Alexandria, revitalising the second capital, Rosetta was eclipsed. Within a few years it was little more than a small town dependent in the main on fishing and rural industry. There are several areas in which the old buildings have been preserved· and the town has many well-preserved examples of
Ottoman domestic architecture.