Frédéric Cailliaud: An Eighteenth Century French Scientist and Explorer in Egypt

 The following article appeared in a past Newsletter of the American Research Center in Egypt.  I will be following up with another blog on shared characteristics of late 18th and early 19th century explorers in Africa.
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 When long time ARCE member Dr. W. Benson Harer, Jr. entered The London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, Washington, in 2005, and made his way around the stalls, he had no idea of the treasure he would find. Reading through the list of available titles from a bookseller called Sims Reed Ltd., one item in particular caught his attention – a manuscript allegedly written by one Frédéric Cailliaud, and containing volumes of text, masses of notes, and a dizzying assortment of drawn, published, and painted imagery. Dr. Harer bought it immediately. 
Fig 01 Cailliaud Small Copy
Cailliaud in 1819

Who was Frédéric Cailliaud, what does he mean to the study of ancient Egypt? Let’s take a step back about 200 years. The year: 1787. The place: Nantes, France. The moment: just before European interaction with ancient Egypt exploded. This was the year in which Frédéric Cailliaud was born. Slightly more than a decade later, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt with a contingent of scholars; an invasion that ultimately opened the country to European inquiry in ways never before possible.

In 1809, a year before the first volume of Napoleon’s mighty Description de l’Egypte, the academic publication born from his invasion, Cailliaud traveled to Paris where he immersed himself in the study of mineralogy. Two years later Cailliaud left Paris to complete his training as a mineralogist. His wandering led to Constantinople where he worked for the Ottoman ruler, Sultan Mahmud II. In 1815 Cailliaud arrived in Egypt…

Article is continued here:  ARCE Newsletter (American Research Center in Egypt) –

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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One Response to Frédéric Cailliaud: An Eighteenth Century French Scientist and Explorer in Egypt

  1. Pingback: Modern Words that Survive from Ancient Egypt – What, How and Why | DIANABUJA'S BLOG

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