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Black and White Ibises (drawn by Sauvigny, 1798-9)

Black Ibis and White Ibis, drawn by Jules-Cesar Sauvigny (Description de l'Egypte, Hist. Nat., 1809).

The smaller, black ibis at left (Plegadus falcinellus), 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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