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Black and White Ibises (drawn by Sauvigny)


Fig.1: Black Ibis and White Ibis, drawn by Jules-Cesar Sauvigny (Description de l'Egypte 1810).

The smaller, black ibis (Plegadus falcinellus), at left ,was named gmt (or "the gmt-bird"). In hieroglyphic writing, its pictograph stood for the phoeneme "gm" (Gardiner, sign G-28).

The white ibis (Ibis religiosa) was considered a sacred bird, and was frequently mummified and placed in tombs. In hieroglyphic writing, its pictograph was used along with the name for the god Thoth, and also as a determinative in the common name for ibis, "dw" (Gardiner, sign G-26).

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