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Jules-Cesar Sauvigny (drawn by Dutertre, 1798-9)

Portrait of Jules-Cesar Sauvigny by Andre Dutertre in 1798-9 (Louis Reybaud, Histoire de l’expédition française en Égypte, Paris 1830-36, vol.8.

Among the scientists who travelled to Egypt with the French expedition was the zoologist Jules-Cesar Sauvigny, who together with his colleague, Etiene Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, described the animal species found along the Nile. With the help of several large crates of specimens bought back to Paris, they prepared large, detailed drawings of thousands of specimens for eventual publication in the Description de l'Egypte (1809).

Sauvigny studied and drew both the birds and invertebrate fauna, including mollusks, crustaceans and other marine invetebrates, and insects. Correlations were also made between identified taxa, and their frequent use in Egyptian art and hieroglyphic writing. One example was the white ibis (Ibis religiosa), a bird considered sacred in ancient Egypt, and thought to represent the god Thoth. .

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