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To the Editor:—
As Thomas Young, M.D., was the father of Egyptology, so, too, was Paul Botta, M.D., a father of Assyriology. The noted archeologist Sir Henry Layard wrote of Botta, "To him is due the honor of having found the first Assyrian monument."Son of the Italian historian Carlo Botta, Paul was born in Turin in 1802 and died in 1870. He studied under Cruveilhier, Orfila, Andral, and Dupuytren at the Faculty of Medicine at Paris, taking his doctorate in 1830 with a thesis, "On the Use of Smoking Opium." As a surgeon he embarked in 1826 on the brig "Heros" for a three-year trip around the world, collecting scientific material wherever he went. Later he served as military physician to the Khedive, Mehemet Ali, of Egypt and assisted in operations on the Arabic peninsula and Sennar. Here he obtained a large zoological collection, which he brought to Cairo.
Stenn F. PAUL EMILE BOTTA-ASSYRIOLOGIST, PHYSICIAN. JAMA. 1960;174(12):1651. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030120091026
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