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25 années d’archéologie royale (1990-2015)

Colloque – 6-8 octobre 2016 – Auditorium du château de Versailles
25 Years of Royal Archeology, 1990–2015 - Symposium – 6-8 October 2016 – Auditorium du château de Versailles

The conference “25 Years of Royal Archaeology, 1990–2015” was organized to review not only the research undertaken in the domains of Versailles, Trianon and Marly over the last quarter century, but also recent work in other royal domains. It was the opportunity to measure the chronological extension of the archaeology: the modern period is now resolutely within its field of competence. The archaeology of the gardens, their corollaries, which has become a scientific discipline in its own right, was widely alluded to. Finally, the contribution of sciences originally foreign to archaeology has been emphasized: geology, malacology, parasitology, for example.

The first archaeological intervention in the ​​Versailles domain took place in 1990, at the same time as the replanting of the park, after the storm of 3 February. As this replantation was to be accompanied by the restitution of the layouts – that had often disappeared – which André Le Nôtre had designed, archaeological investigation was essential. Since 1990 almost a dozen operations have been conducted in the ​​Versailles domain, most of them in the park. Some projects were undertaken at other sites, particularly in the courtyards of the château and the Grand Commun, and in the Trianon domain.

The incorporation, in 2009, of the Marly domain with that of Versailles brought the three castles founded by Louis XIV together under one administration. Razed shortly after the Revolution, there is only one empty enclosure at Marly, but this magnificent site contains wealth below the ground.

However Versailles and its satellites are not the only royal castles that have opened to archaeology: the Tuileries, Vincennes, Saint-Germain, Fontainebleau and Chambord have also been the subject of research, first in medieval archaeology (Vincennes) then the research rapidly extended to later periods. It was decided that this conference would confine itself to the modern era.

Conference organized by the Centre de Recherche du château de Versailles. See the full programme.

Research Director: Annick Heitzmann

Partners: Public Establishment of the Palace, the Museum and the National Estate of Versailles, DRAC Île-de-France and Regional Services for Archaeology, INRAP, Association Volutes, Musée-Promenade de Marly-le-Roi Louveciennes. With the partnerhship of the Arché network.

Seventeen of the twenty conference papers are published here, edited by Annick Heitzmann. The others are available in audio format.

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