Plates from Cuvier’s Essay on the Theory of the Earth

I’m currently reading through Georges Cuvier’s 1813 Essay on the Theory of the Earth and I love these plates from Robert Jameson, who also wrote the prefaces to the third and fourth English editions of the text.

Front piece for Cuvier's Essay on the Theory of the Earth (1813)

Front piece for Cuvier’s Essay on the Theory of the Earth (1813)

Plate I, showing the relative position of the Tertiary Mineral Formations around Paris.

Plate I. showing the relative position of the Tertiary Mineral Formations around Paris.

Plate II, showing the Succession of the Secondary Formations, and of the Distribution of Petrifactions.

Plate II. showing the Succession of the Secondary Formations, and of the Distribution of Petrifactions.

Plate II.a., Extraordinary Fossil Animal named Pterodactylus longirostrus, found near Aichstedt, in Germany.

Plate II.a., Extraordinary Fossil Animal named Pterodactylus longirostrus, found near Aichstedt, in Germany.

Plate III, Figure of an Ibis in a Temple in Upper Egypt.

Plate III. Figure of an Ibis in a Temple in Upper Egypt.

Plate IV, Skeleton of an Ibis from a Mummy found at Thebes.

Plate IV. Skeleton of an Ibis from a Mummy found at Thebes.

Plate V, Numenius Ibis, supposed true Ibis of the Egyptians.

Plate V. Numenius Ibis, supposed true Ibis of the Egyptians.

Interesting: Plate VI is missing from my PDF. Plate VI is, apparently, a “Fossil Human Skeleton found in Guadaloupe.” Also interesting as Cuvier, in writing this essay, argued that the human species was not yet old enough for there to be evidence of human fossils. The absence of the human fossil plate is most likely a scanning mistake, but there might be other interesting speculations…

Plate VII. Cervus megaceros, Irish Elk in the Museum of the Royal Dublin Society.

Plate VII. Cervus megaceros, Irish Elk in the Museum of the Royal Dublin Society.

Plate VIII. Fig. 1, Head and Horn of an Irish Elk. Fig. 2, Portion of a Cast Horn. Fig. 3, An Internal and External View of a Perforated Rib.

Plate VIII. Fig. 1, Head and Horn of an Irish Elk. Fig. 2, Portion of a Cast Horn. Fig. 3, An Internal and External View of a Perforated Rib.

Plate 9

Plate IX. Cervus megaceros, Irish or Isle of Man Elk in the Royal Museum of the University of Edinburgh.

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