Mało znane, cenne dokumenty historii paleontologii Śląska—listy Johanna Ludwiga Gravenhorsta (1777–1857) do Aleksandra Brongniarta (1770–1847) w zbiorach Narodowego Muzeum Historii Naturalnej w Paryżu

Piotr Daszkiewicz, Radosław Tarkowski


Little-known letters of Johann Ludwig Gravenhorst (1777–1857) to Alexandre Brongniart (1770–1847) from collections of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris—documents precious for history of paleontology in Silesia.
A b s t r a c t. Three letters of Johann Ludwig Gravenhorst to Alexandre Brongniart, dated 1812–1822, are preserved in collections of MNHN, Paris. This article analyses that correspondence from the point of view of the history of paleontology and geology. The letters are particularly interesting as material casting new light on both the origin of naturalist collections of the University of Wrocław and history of paleontological studies in Silesia. They are also important for history of natural sciences in the first half of the 19th century. They provide important details concerning exchange of specimens between Wrocław University and MNHN (especially exchange of imprints of plant fossils from coal mines near the city of Wałbrzych for geological collections from various parts of France). In these letters Gravenhorst presented also his ideas on systematics of invertebrates (taxonomic position of trilobites and “animal versus vegetal” character of corals) and made comments on publications of Brongniart, Cuvier and Desmarest sent from Paris. He was also asking his French colleague about credibility of claims concerning existence of human ancestors.

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