There is a long tradition of French archaeological societies in a similar mould to our, but there is relatively little community archaeology as we'd understand (autonomous local groups carrying out archaeological fieldwork)- partly I suspect because of the difficulties with gaining permissions to excavate. However, there is some collaboration. One example I know of is the Groupes de Recherches Archeologiques du Cotentin, which has worked closely with professionals on a 'Projet Collectif de Recherche' on the archaeology of NW Normandy ' (http://www.letourp.com/index.php?SujetID=3&ArticleID=18)
From: British archaeology discussion list on behalf of Andy Holland
Sent: Mon 22/09/2008 10:58
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] French Legislation
Wow! and I thought the English system could be quirky.
Would the SAR archaeologist / whole French monument protection system really be that obstructive if it's only non-invasive recording? I've had student's doing this in the UK and to all intents and purposes they have no more impact on the monument than pointing a camera at it. Begs the question: Why?
Purely out of curiosity: does France have much community archaeology? We heard some really good examples of Community Archaeology groups at our recent conference and it got me thinking if similar groups exist in other countries in Europe.
Mr. A.D. Holland B.Sc. M.Sc. AIFA.
Education Project Officer (11 - 18),
Council for British Archaeology,
Tel: 01904 671417
Email: [log in to unmask]
From: British archaeology discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter MacIntyre
Sent: 22 September 2008 06:59
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: French Legislation
Heritage legislation is contained in what is known as the Code du
In so far as building recording as concerned, if you wanted to plan a
ruined abbey, for example, you would be well advised to contact the
relevant SRA (service regional de l'archéologie). If, on the other
hand, it's a question of standing building recording, things are a
little clearer and yet a little more confused. First of all, and
obviously, you need the agreement of the building proprietor. In the
case of a parish church this would be the local town council. You would
then need to know the status of the building. Is it under the protection
of an ACMH (Architecte en Chef des Monuments Historiques)? You won't be
allowed near the fabric without his (and it is usually a man) agreement.
You could contact the relevant SDAP (Service Départemental de
l'Architecture et du Patrimoine) where you might find someone helpful
able to clarify ownership questions and point you towards drawings and
photographs that already exist.
The confusion might start when you are recording your standing building
and an archaeologist from the SRA turns up and says that you have no
"autorisation" to be doing it and should stop immediately. The legal
basis for this is somewhat dubious and to prevail you will need a good
knowledge of both French and French law.
If you have recently met someone in an English pub who has a
fourteenth century house at the bottom of his French back garden and you
have been invited to record it then simply do so and tell no-one. That's
what a lot of French people would do.
PETTS D.A. wrote:
> A bit of a shot in the dark here. I am trying to find out about the legislation, if any, connected to recording historic buildings in France. I've been able to find plenty about excavation, but none about non-intrusive building recording. Anyone on list had any experience with this?