Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 is a major reason we know so much about ancient Egypt today!
The Commission of the Sciences and Arts was a French organization or learned body set up in March 1798. It had 167 members and all but 16 of them joined Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt. They produced the Description de l’Egypte. More than half of the organizations members were engineers and technicians.
There were 21 mathematicians, 3 astronomers, 17 civil engineers, 13 naturalists and mining engineers, geographers, 3 gunpowder engineers, 4 architects, 8 artists, 10 mechanical artists, 1 sculptor, 15 interpreters, 10 men of letters, 22 printers of Latin, Greek, and Arabic characters.
Bonaparte organized his scientific troop like an army, dividing them into 5 categories and assigning each member a military rank and a defined military role beyond his scientific function. It is due to Bonaparte’s group that we know much of what we do about ancient Egypt. Had it not been for them, we wouldn’t have near the knowledge as we currently do today.